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Five airline passengers in transit to other airports have been detained in Auckland on suspicions they have swine flu.

They have instead been sent to Middlemore Hospital and are in isolation being treated with Tamiflu.

One of the five passengers - who are understood to have been on their way to Australia - is receiving additional hospital care.

The five were among 11 airline passengers who met the criteria for swine flu between 11pm last night and 10am this morning.

The remaining six were treated with Tamiflu and sent home to remain in isolation.

Auckland International Airport has been screening passengers from Mexico and North America for symptoms of the virus, a new strain of influenza A.

Test results for two Waikato residents have come back negative for
influenza A swine flu. Waikato DHB is now looking into another possible case.

Mexican health authorities say the virus has killed 26 people and is suspected in 159 total deaths. They say it has infected nearly 2500. However, the World Health Organisation today put the confirmed death toll at seven, with 26 confirmed cases of infection.

Cases have also been been confirmed in the US, Canada, Scotland, Israel, and Spain, as well as New Zealand, where at least three people have been infected.

Tourism impact

This morning Prime Minister John Key expressed his concern at the impact swine flu confirmations might have on New Zealand tourism.

He made his comments to reporters following the laboratory confirmation last night of three confirmed infections and the Ministry of Health revealing that 179 people in New Zealand were in isolation.

Mr Key - who is also tourism minister - said India had issued a travel warning and some Japanese tourists had cancelled trips to New Zealand.

"It is important to put it in perspective," he said.

"It is highly likely that most countries will have some outbreak of swine flu."

New Zealand was handling it well and had high stocks of Tamiflu.

"But obviously it is of concern to us that there could be a side-impact on tourism here in New Zealand."

Mr Key said he understood that India had issued a travel warning on a large number of countries, including the United States, Canada and Britain.

"It looks like they are taking a blanket approach. I still think it is very safe to travel to New Zealand."

New Zealand had got on top of the cases quickly "and hopefully can break the cycle reasonably quickly."

14 cases of influenza A

This morning, health officials announced 14 cases of influenza A had been confirmed in the Auckland region, including the three people who had the new swine flu strain of influenza A.

Twelve of the influenza A cases are from a 25-person Rangitoto College group which returned from Mexico on Saturday.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) clinical director Julia Peters announced the new cases of influenza A at a Ministry of Health media conference in Wellington this morning.

"We've got 14 confirmed in Auckland and five suspected," she said. "The numbers are going to change – it's an evolving situation."

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Dr Peters said another confirmed case of influenza A came through just as she was leaving the lab this morning.

She said the latest case is believed to be a person who had been travelling in North America.

The fourteenth person was on the same Air New Zealand flight from Los Angeles as the Rangitoto group.

Health officials said there were 31 cases suspected around the country.

There are five suspected cases in Auckland, two in the Waikato, two in Taranaki, Four in the Hutt Valley/Wellington region, ten in Nelson and eight in the Canterbury/West Coast region.

Officials have placed 179 people in isolation.

Among that number are people who were on the same Air New Zealand flight from Los Angeles that the Rangitoto group travelled on.

Health Minister Tony Ryall told the media conference reports had shown there are now 19 countries with suspected cases of swine flu.

"We note that in Australia there is in excess of 100 suspected cases," he said.

All those confirmed as having influenza A were being treated by regional health authorities, he said, adding that the number of cases was expected to rise.

Health officials last night announced that laboratory tests had confirmed three people had the new swine flu strain of influenza A.

Samples from 10 people from Rangitoto College with influenza A were sent to Melbourne for testing on Monday.

The Melbourne laboratory analysed the four samples which were in the best condition for testing. Of those, three were positive and one is awaiting confirmation.

At a media conference last night, director of public health Dr Mark Jacobs said: "On the basis of these results we are assuming that all of the people in the group who had tested positive for influenza have swine flu.

Mr Ryall said: "Tonight New Zealand can unfortunately confirm that students recently returned from Mexico have tested positive for swine flu ... their symptoms were mild and all are recovering. This is the pattern seen in countries outside of Mexico."

Changes to health advice

Health officials have contacted all but 18 of the 356 people on board Air New Zealand flight NZ1 from Los Angeles, which carried the Rangitoto College group.

Initially, everyone who had been in the United States or Mexico in the previous 14 days before returning home with flu-like symptoms was considered a potential case.

The 14-day figure has since been reduced to seven days, and all those singled out have been tested for influenza A and given Tamiflu.

The ministry's advice remains that anyone who has recently returned from the affected areas and has flu-like illness should phone a doctor.

Two transit passengers were this morning taken into quarantine at Auckland International Airport after being screened upon arrival from Los Angeles, on Qantas flight QF26, enroute to Sydney and Melbourne.

The two women were taken to Middlemore Hospital where they will be placed in quarantine for 24 hours.

Yesterday, airport spokeswoman Sarah Aldworth said 795 passengers on four flights from the United States went through extra processing.

Symptoms seemed mild

One of three confirmed New Zealand swine flu victims last night told the Herald he was shocked to have been diagnosed with the virus.

Rangitoto College student David Graham, 16, spoke to the Herald last night from home quarantine after it was confirmed he had swine flu.

David said he and his family had watched in bewilderment as almost every national and international news bulletin was headlined by stories about them, or relating to them.

"I just didn't feel as though the symptoms we have now would be enough for it to be swine flu. Hearing about all the people dying and being hospitalised, I just didn't feel as though I was in that league."

The family were surviving their quarantine with an email chain running between parents and students, watching movies and internet shopping for their food.

Student contact fears

Rangitoto College principal David Hodge said he was shocked at the positive swine flu test results but he did not consider the news would alarm others at the school.

However, fears were mounting yesterday, and some parents were trying to distance their children from Rangitoto College students.

Kristin School, a North Shore private school, refused to play netball against Rangitoto for fear of contracting swine flu.

The Herald was also told that parents from North Shore schools refused to send their children on the same school bus as Rangitoto students.

Mr Hodge said the five boys who had been sent home on Monday because they had played a soccer game with one of the students being treated as a "probable" swine flu case had been assessed by the public health service and deemed fit to return to school.

The quarantined students were told they could return to school tomorrow unless the test results from Melbourne suggested otherwise.

The school was last night arranging for all the quarantined students to have homework sent to them, by email, or in packages left in their letterboxes.

- With NZPA