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2 swine flu cases found in Saskatchewan

Last Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2009 | 2:17 PM CT

Saskatchewan chief medical health officer Moira McKinnon speaks to reporters in Regina on Thursday about the province's first two cases of swine flu.Saskatchewan chief medical health officer Moira McKinnon speaks to reporters in Regina on Thursday about the province's first two cases of swine flu. (Niall McKenna/CBC)

Saskatchewan has its first two cases of swine flu, the province's Health Ministry confirmed Thursday.

A teenage girl from Saskatoon and a woman in her 20s from the Regina area recently became ill with the H1N1 influenza A virus. Both had mild symptoms and didn't need to be hospitalized, the province said.

Until now, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador had been the only provinces without any cases of swine flu, which is believed to have originated in Mexico several weeks ago.

Both females had recently been in Mexico on separate trips. The teenager had been with her family. The woman in her 20s returned from Mexico with influenza symptoms.

The two females have fully recovered. The teenager is expected to return to school next week.

Around the world, more than 2,000 people have been infected and more than 40 people have died. In Canada, more than 200 people have contracted swine flu, but the illnesses have been relatively mild.

The province, which set up a 10-person command centre shortly after flu cases began appearing internationally, will continue to monitor possible H1N1 flu cases, chief medical health officer Moira McKinnon said.

It's likely there will be more cases in Saskatchewan, she said.

"We're pretty sure that community transmission is occurring in some areas," McKinnon said. "You know, this virus is spreading and will probably become part of … the number of viruses that continue to circulate."

People should follow simple steps, including regular handwashing, to keep themselves healthy, she said.

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    WHO: List of countries with swine influenza A/H1N1
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    The Public Health Agency of Canada's travel warning on Mexico
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