Measures urged to contain A/H1N1 virus in remote areas

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Chinese epidemiologists have called for intensified measures to fight A/H1N1 in the country's remote areas in an effort to resist its potential infections of a second wave, China Daily reported Thursday.

Chinese Health Ministry scientists are still investigating the death of an 18-year-old woman in a hospital in Maizhokunggar county of the Tibet Autonomous Region on Sunday, Zeng Guang, a senior epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said.

"Flu control efforts, particularly standardized treatment for patients and medical staff training, should be enhanced in remote areas like Tibet," Zeng said.

The mainland's first reported death from A/H1N1 in Tibet comes amid global fears that the flu could spread in the colder months ahead.

The United Nation's senior technical expert on influenza, Dr Julie Hall, told a World Bank meeting that the H1N1 flu pandemic is penetrating into some of the poorest communities in the world.

Vivian Tan, press officer of the World Health Organization (WHO) Beijing Office, said Chinese authorities should strengthen epidemic surveillance systems as well as healthcare services and supplies in less developed areas.

The Chinese health ministry already sent 200,000 doses of flu vaccine to Lhasa, Tibet's capital, by air on Tuesday, the ministry said.

Feng Zijian, head of the CDC's emergency response department, said the A/H1N1 death rate is still low in China, given that the Chinese mainland had reported 21,453 cases by Tuesday.

The health ministry has also launched a nationwide training program for healthcare workers on A/H1N1 prevention and control.

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