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Swine Flu Widens In Europe With First German Case

A woman wears a mask as she arrives from Mexico at Rhein Main airport in Frankfurt Main.
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Germany has confirmed its first case of swine flu in a man in Bavaria, marking the arrival of the virus in the heart of continental Europe.

Bavaria's Health Ministry said in a statement that the Robert Koch Institute, a federal agency for infectious diseases, had found swine flu in one of three suspected cases in the state.

Authorities said the infected man, the first publicly confirmed case in Germany, had recently been in Mexico and was from Mallersdorf near the city of Regensburg.

Spain and Britain have both identified two cases of the virus each, but no infections have yet been confirmed in Central or Eastern Europe, according to latest reports.

Outside Bavaria, authorities are known to be investigating five other suspected cases of swine flu in Germany.

One is in Hamburg, with a further three cases in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The other involves a married couple from the city of Braunschweig who had recently returned from New York. The wife has already tested negative for the virus.

Pig futures prices in Germany fell slightly on April 28 due to concerns over the spread of swine flu from Mexico.

The new H1N1 virus has been confirmed around the world but Mexico remains the only country with deaths -- 159 by the government's estimate -- and the epicenter of the outbreak.