(For full coverage of the flu outbreak, click on [nFLU]) (Updates with ministry confirmation)
TOKYO, May 9, Three Japanese males who had spent time in Canada have been confirmed to have the new strain of flu, the first confirmed cases in the country, a Health Ministry official said.
The three are a man in his 40s and two teenagers who had returned to Japan via Detroit after spending time in Canada, the official said. Kyodo news agency said they were a high school teacher and two students who had been on a school trip and returned on Friday.
The three were in hospital and 49 others who arrived in Japan on the same flight have been taken to a facility near Tokyo's Narita airport, the ministry official said.
The global spread of the virus has kept alive concern over a possible pandemic, although scientists say this strain does not appear more deadly than seasonal flu. (Reporting by Yoko Kubota and Linda Sieg)