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U.S. plane returns from Russia over pilot swine flu scare


VLADIVOSTOK, May 26 (RIA Novosti) - A U.S. plane flew home from Russia's Far East region of Chukotka on Tuesday after local sanitary officials ordered a medical check-up of the pilot over suspected swine flu.

The Bombardier Challenger business jet was carrying two flight crew and five passengers.

"One of the two crewmembers was diagnosed with a relatively high temperature during a sanitary check at the Anadyr airport," a regional official said. "The pilot, who is suspected to have contracted swine flu, was offered a medical examination at a Chukotka hospital."

A medical examination was also offered to the other crewmember and all passengers, but the Americans decided to fly back to the United States, the official said.

They left "after four and a half hours at Anadyr airport. None of them stepped out of the plane," the source said.

Russian sanitary officials have warned that Chukotka, close to Alaska, faces a significant threat of the А/H1N1 virus spreading, due to the large number of flights coming from the U.S.

Russia's Health Ministry said the first case of human swine flu had been diagnosed in Moscow on Friday. The man had recently returned from a trip to the U.S. The second confirmed swine flu patent was a man from the Kaluga Region who contracted the virus while on holiday in the Dominican Republic.

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