May 19, 2009 / 11:24 AM / 10 years ago

Thai minister says tourist did not die from H1N1

(Updates with minister saying tests show H1N1 not present)

BANGKOK, May 19 (Reuters) - A German tourist who died in Thailand this week after falling ill with a fever did not have the H1N1 flu virus, Thailand’s public health minister said on Tuesday.

"I have been briefed by the deputy permanent secretary that our lab tests confirmed about half an hour ago that the patient did not die of the new flu strain," Witthaya Kaewparadai told a television station by telephone from Switzerland.

His deputy, Manit Nop-amornbodi, later told a news conference in Bangkok that the 65-year-old woman had died of pneumonia.

The authorities said on May 12 that two Thai citizens who had been in Mexico had contracted H1N1 flu but both had recovered. [ID:nSP471175].

There have been no deaths from the flu in Thailand.

Ministry spokesman Suphan Srithamma said earlier that the German woman had arrived in Thailand on May 12 in good health but developed a fever and died on May 18.

Forty countries have confirmed cases of the new flu strain. Almost all of the 74 dead so far have been in Mexico. Most people with the flu have had relatively mild symptoms.

(For more Reuters stories on swine flu, click on [nFLU]) (Reporting by Kittipong Soonprasert; Writing by Alan Raybould; Editing by Paul Tait)

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