Swine Flu

China flu situation 'severe'

2009-12-02 14:47

Special Report

Beijing - The number of H1N1 flu deaths in China has more than tripled in two weeks with the onset of winter, the Health Ministry said late on Tuesday.

By Sunday, the Chinese mainland had recorded 178 deaths from the H1N1 virus - a threefold-plus jump from the 53 deaths announced on November 15, according to the ministry's website.

The ministry also said three of four recent deaths reported after people received H1N1 flu vaccinations have been determined to have no link to the inoculations themselves, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The three deaths were "coincidental", Liang Wannian, director of the ministry's emergency response office, was quoted as saying. Results for the fourth death are still pending.

Of the 26 million people inoculated so far nationwide, a tiny fraction - 2 867 - reported adverse reactions, Liang said. Most of those reactions were fever or swelling, he said.

"Clinical tests and practices in China and other countries have shown the A/H1N1 flu vaccines are safe," Liang said.

More than 90 000 people in China have been infected with H1N1 flu and nearly 80% have recovered, Xinhua reported.

By comparison, China's figures are much smaller than in the United States. Since it was first identified in April, H1N1 flu has sickened an estimated 22 million Americans, hospitalised about 98 000 and killed 4 000.

The flu situation in China is still "severe" as the number of cases and fatalities grows with the onset of winter, Liang said.

H1N1 flu made up about 90% of all flu cases in recent weeks. Schools are still the main venue for prevention, with nationwide vaccinations continuing.

Read more on:    h1n1 flu

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