New Zealand confirms H1N1 deaths


New Zealand has had its first fatalities linked to the H1N1 flu, with three deaths in the last week, the Ministry of Health said today.

The deaths came as the country's tally of confirmed swine flu cases approached 1,000, but Director of Public Health, Mark Jacobs, said there was no need to alter the health authorities' approach of trying to manage the spread of the virus.

"There is no need to change our management approach at this stage but we remain vigilant," he said in a statement.

New Zealand's chief coroner said a 19-year-old man had died on June 28th and a 42-year-old man had died on July 2nd. Both had swine flu as a major factor in their deaths. The third victim was a young girl who died earlier today in Wellington.

Both the girl and the 42-year-old man were known to have underlying medical conditions.

The health ministry said there were 945 confirmed cases in New Zealand, with 61 cases listed as probable.