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LT-Mexico-SwineFlu 1stLd-Writethru 07-02

Health officials tackle swine flu challenges

Swine flu is running wild in the Southern Hemisphere and is spreading rapidly through Europe, with Britain projected to reach 100,000 daily cases by the end of August. The virus is even showing signs of rebounding in Mexico.

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan and health ministers from around the globe huddled Thursday in Cancun for a two-day summit to design strategies for battling the pandemic. Nations attending include the United States, Canada, China, Britain and Brazil.

"As we see today, with well over 100 countries reporting cases, once a fully fit pandemic virus emerges, its further international spread is unstoppable," Chan said during opening remarks.

Mexican officials wanted the meeting held in the Caribbean resort city of Cancun — where tourism has plunged — to highlight the country’s success in controlling its epidemic with a five-day national shutdown of schools and businesses in May.

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