Tue May 26, 2009 11:44pm EDT

CANBERRA, May 27 (Reuters) – An Australian state hit hardest by the H1N1 virus will carry out mass treatment with anti-viral drugs for people suspected of having so-called swine flu as the country’s total number of confirmed cases near-doubled to 61.

Health authorities in Victoria, where 33 people have been confirmed with H1N1, said they would open special clinics to relieve hospitals and deal with the outbreak, administering anti-viral drugs to anyone with symptoms.


“We now know that this disease is highly infectious and the community does have to prepare itself for there to be a significant increase in the numbers of cases that are confirmed in coming days,” Roxon told reporters in Canberra.