updated 11/27/2009 1:13:39 PM ET 2009-11-27T18:13:39

French health officials say two people diagnosed with a slightly mutated swine flu virus that also has been found in other countries have died.

The Institute for Health Oversight said Friday that the two people, who have not been identified, had been hospitalized in different cities and died after being diagnosed with the variant swine flu.

Last week, the World Health Organization said it is investigating samples of variant swine flu linked to two deaths and one severe case in Norway, but that so far the significance of the mutation is unclear.

WHO says the same mutation has been found in both fatal and mild cases elsewhere, including in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Ukraine, and the United States.

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