Mexico's health secretary said the swine flu epidemic in his country "is now in its declining phase," even as the US and five other countries in Europe and Latin America reported new cases Sunday.
China quarantined more than 70 Mexican travelers and Hong Kong isolated 350 people in a hotel as a precaution even though no new swine flu infections appeared in Asia. In Egypt, authorities' attempt to kill all pigs as a precaution against the disease prompted pig owners to clash with police who were helping to seize their animals for slaughter.
The death toll in Mexico remains at 19, and the number of confirmed cases has increased slightly, from 473 to 506, including the dead, Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said. He said "evolution of the epidemic is now in its declining phase."
He said data suggest the epidemic peaked sometime between April 23 and April 28, and that drastic measures - closing the nation's schools, shuttering most of its businesses and banning mass public gatherings - apparently have helped curb the flu's spread.