More than 500 swine flu cases in NZ

The total number of swine flu cases in New Zealand has jumped more than 50 overnight to 507, the Ministry of Health says.

The region housing the largest number of swine flu patients is Wellington, with 173 cases, followed by Auckland, 140, then Canterbury who has 128 people with the virus.

The Waikato comes in at a distant forth with 21, followed closely by Bay of Plenty/Lakes, with 20.

Hawke's Bay, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Nelson and Marlborough are tied with six cases each.

Northland has five people with the illness, and Gisborne and Taranaki have just one case each.

Otago and Southland have so far escaped anyone contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has reported 59,814 cases of influenza A(H1N1) in 105 countries, with 263 deaths so far.

The assessment reflects the fact that most people recover from infection without the need for hospitalisation or medical care, Ministry of Health's deputy director of public health Darren Hunt said.


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