Spain confirms 1st swine flu case in Europe

Air passengers wear masks
Passengers arriving from Mexico wear masks after arriving at Madrid's airport Monday. Europe recorded its first case of swine flu when the Spanish government confirmed that a man who recently returned from Mexico had contracted the virus.

Spain's Health Ministry confirmed the country's first case of swine flu on Monday and said another 20 people are suspected of having the disease. It was the first confirmed swine flu case in Europe and the first outside of North America.

Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said the patient is a young man who had recently returned from Mexico where he had been as part of his university studies.

Jimenez told a press conference the man is responding well to treatment and that neither he nor any of the people under observation are in serious condition.

"The situation is under control," Jimenez said.

Jimenez said this is Europe's first confirmed case of the swine flu outbreak that started in Mexico and is blamed for at least 22 deaths there.

The man with the confirmed case is from the town of Almansa in the Castilla-La Mancha region, according to regional health authorities.

He checked in to a clinic Saturday complaining of fever and respiratory problems and was eventually hospitalized, the regional health department's Web site says.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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