A 40-year-old fisherman died in Dakhla, a town in the southern part of Western Sahara, after becoming infected with the AH1N1 swine flu virus, the Moroccan Health Ministry said Sunday.
There are 11 more cases of fishermen from the same boat who have picked up the virus, the ministry said.
The flu cases were reported on Friday by the Regional Health Directorate in Rio de Oro-Lagouira, also in southern Western Sahara, which is administered by Morocco.
The man who died was "infected with a chronic disease," the ministry said without specifying what that disease might be, adding that his 11 shipmates infected with the virus "are not showing any serious symptoms."
Apparently, the man died on board the fishing boat and, when it docked at the port of Dakhla, health authorities sent a medical team to test the rest of the crew and undertake precautionary measures.
When other cases of swine flu were detected, and even though none of those infected are showing serious symptoms, the ministry issued an alert at different health facilities to determine how to respond if additional cases turn up.
Although the World Health Organization in August 2010 declared the AH1N1 flu pandemic to be over, isolated cases of the disease have continued to appear over the past few months, specifically in Argentina, Israel, Palestine and Brazil.
In Brazil, 133 people died in July 2012 after becoming infected with the swine flu virus. EFE