Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Expert Warns Of Further Spread Of A (H1N1) Flu In China

BEIJING, Sept 8 (Bernama) -- A leading expert warns A/H1N1 Influenza is spreading to medium and small cities as the autumn school semester gets under way in China, China's Xinhua news agency said citing a local media report Tuesday.

A growing number of recent flu cases in middle and primary schools in medium and small cities and the western parts of China indicated the spread of the A/H1N1 virus, Zeng Guang, a leading epidemiology expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention was quoted as saying by Tuesday's People's Daily.

"And the flu may spread from schools to factories and companies and places thronging with people," said Zeng.

The northwestern Shaanxi Province reported another 11 students diagnosed with A/H1N1 influenza at the Xi'an University of Arts and Science Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the campus to 40.

Similar outbreaks have been reported at schools in other regions, including Fujian, Shandong, Henan and Sichuan provinces.

The Chinese mainland reported its first critical case of A/H1N1 flu on Aug. 13 in the southern province of Guangdong. Similar cases were found in Shanghai Municipality and Zhejiang Province.

China has vowed to strengthen prevention and control of the A/H1N1 virus in the run-up to National Day holiday which begin on Oct 1.

A statement released following a State Council meeting on Monday said medical staff, technical equipment and materials should be ready at any moment in case of an influenza emergency -- especially around National Day.

By Monday night, 5,592 cases of A/H1N1 flu had been reported on the Chinese mainland, of whom 3,852 have recovered.

Malaysia Updates

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues: Malaysia recorded no death due to Influenza A (H1N1) for the fifth consecutive day, with the death toll still at 73.

However, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said 126 new patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) were admitted to hospitals today.

He also said 40 of the 372 confirmed H1N1 patients were still in the intensive care unit and they included 25 risk factor cases like those with chronic illness and respiratory problems, obesity and children or babies.

WHO Updates

GENEVA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The A/H1N1 pandemic has killed at least 2,837 people worldwide since the new flu virus first emerged in April, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday.

Of all the deaths, 2,234 occurred in the Americas, followed by the West Pacific region, with 279 deaths. The other four WHO regional offices, South-East Asia, Europe, East Mediterranean and Africa reported 188, 104, 21 and 11 deaths respectively.

The WHO's recorded number of lab confirmed A/H1N1 cases worldwide is more than 254,206, but it actually understates the real number of cases as countries are no longer required to test and report individual cases, the U.N. agency said.

The A/H1N1 virus continues to be the predominant circulating virus of influenza, both in the northern and southern hemisphere, but there are still no signs that the virus has mutated into a more virulent or lethal form, the agency said.

Although the virus can cause severe and fatal illness, also in young and healthy people, the number of such cases remains small, the WHO has said.

Hong Kong Updates

HONG KONG, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong confirmed 384 new cases of influenza A/H1N1 in the 24 hours up to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, bringing the number of the region's cumulative cases to 14,077, Hong Kong health authorities said.

The new cases involved 197 males and 187 females, aged between six months and 84 years, said a spokesman from the Department of Health of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said currently a total of 172 confirmed cases are staying in public hospitals for treatment. Among them, 153 cases are in stable condition, 10 in serious and 9 in critical condition.

Europe Updates

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A European health agency said Saturday that 46 new A/H1N1 flu cases were confirmed in European countries within the last 24 hours.

The news cases were reported from two countries, 24 from Luxembourg and the rest from Switzerland, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its daily situation report.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases of the A/H1N1 flu virus in the EU (European Union) and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries increased to 48,269, with 16,835 cases in Germany, 13,192 in Britain, 2,624 in Portugal, 2058 in Italy and 1,839 in Greece, the ECDC said.

The ECDC publishes a daily situation report about the H1N1 flu cases in the EU and EFTA countries based on official information from these countries.