The Department of Health reported the first group infection of swine flu in the country yesterday, involving seven adolescents from the US, Canada and Hong Kong.
The confirmation of these cases brought the total number of recorded influenza A (H1N1) infections in Taiwan to 68, the Central Epidemics Command Center (CECC) said.
The seven latest victims — four boys and three girls — were between the ages of 10 and 20 years old, CECC spokesman Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said.
They arrived in Taiwan on June 21 to take part in a Mandarin-learning program and experienced an onset of swine flu symptoms last Thursday, Shih said.
The center is investigating whether the victims contracted the virus in Taiwan, he said.
In related news, Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) said yesterday that he had not submitted his resignation.
His comments came after reports said that he was considering leaving his position and running for Hualien County commissioner in year-end elections.
Yeh said that the KMT’s Central Standing Committee asked him a week ago whether he would run for Hualien County commissioner, adding that he would make a decision by next month.