Kuwait: (Agencies-23/5/2009): Eighteen US soldiers have tested positive for swine flu at an American military base in Kuwait and all have now left the Gulf emirate, a Kuwaiti health official said.
"All the 18 soldiers have left Kuwait. They had normal symptoms of the disease and were given the necessary medication," the deputy at the public health department Yussef Mendkar told AFP.
Mendkar said the US soldiers "had no contact whatsoever with the local population," and that the oil-rich state remains free of the A(H1N1) influenza.
The health ministry announced on Saturday that swine flu cases had been detected among US soldiers who were transiting through Kuwait.
Undersecretary of Health Ibrahim al-Abdulhadi told the official KUNA news agency the soldiers were immediately isolated at the US base in Arifjan, 70 kilometres (about 40 miles) south of the capital.
About 15,000 US soldiers are stationed in the Gulf state, which is also used as a transit point for thousands of US soldiers going to and from neighbouring Iraq.
The US embassy in Kuwait said it was aware of the cases, adding that the patients have been isolated and had not come into contact with the Kuwaiti public.
The number of confirmed swine flu infections worldwide stood at 12,022 on Saturday, including 86 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.