SYDNEY, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The number of Australians confirmed with A/H1N1 flu doubled in just 24 hours after hundreds of people were allowed to leave a cruise ship which had infected people on board.
Fears are growing that the virus is now out of control across Australia as the number of confirmed cases rose to 61 on Wednesday morning, doubling the number from Tuesday.
The New South Wales government was also caught up in the scare after its Tourism Minister Jodi McKay attended a ministerial meeting after flying in from the U.S. on a plane carrying infected passengers.
The minister returned to Sydney from Los Angeles on Tuesday. Six passengers on the plane later tested positive for the new flu virus.
The virus has spread rapidly across Australia after 2000 passengers on a cruise ship in Sydney were allowed to go home on Tuesday. Fourteen ship passengers have since tested positive.
Thousands of people who came into contact with the passengers have been asked to stay home for the next seven days.