MADRID The Spanish army has quarantined dozens of soldiers in a Madrid barracks after 11 fell ill with what doctors suspect is the new flu virus, the health ministry said on Friday. Six of the soldiers were admitted to a specially sealed ward in a military hospital while doctors completed tests on Friday to see whether they had contracted the H1N1 strain of the virus, which has infected more than 11,000 people globally and killed at least 85.
"There are others who are isolated as recommended with all cases under investigation. You have to follow protocol and they have to remain isolated until we can confirm whether it is 'Flu A' or not," said the spokesman. "There are quite a few. Dozens, yes."
Media reports said schoolchildren visited the Hoyo de Manzanares Engineering Academy earlier this week, but the health and defense ministries were unable to confirm this. Medics were interviewing the soldiers to establish if any of them had recently been to Mexico -- the epicenter of the outbreak -- or had been in contact with anybody who had, he said. (Reporting by Ben Harding; editing by Andrew Roche)