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Mainland reports 1st 'critical condition' case of A/H1N1 flu
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A 17-year-old A/H1N1 flu patient in south China's Guangdong Province has been diagnosed as being in "critical condition" as he has been in coma for a week, the first such case on the Chinese mainland.

The patient, a high school student in the provincial capital of Guangzhou, developed a fever on Aug. 5, and passed out the next day at home. He was sent to the Guangzhou Municipal Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, a spokesman with the Guangdong Provincial Health Department said Wednesday.

"He was in a deep coma when he was hospitalized. His heartbeat stopped and his blood pressure couldn't be measured," the spokesman said.

He was transferred to the Guangzhou Municipal Institute of Respiratory Disease on Aug. 8.

A diagnosis carried out on Monday showed that the patient was an A/H1N1 flu case in "critical condition," the spokesman said. The patient also developed symptoms of arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation, pneumonia and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen.

"Currently, he is still in coma and in critical condition," the spokesman said.

Local health authorities have set up a taskforce to treat the patient, he said.

The Chinese mainland had confirmed nearly 2,350 cases of A/H1N1 flu as of 3 p.m. Monday, the Ministry of Health said.

Of confirmed A/H1N1 cases, 2,167 have recovered and have been discharged.

Previously, there had been no fatal or critical cases resulting from A/H1N1 reported on the Chinese mainland, but one infected patient in Hangzhou from eastern Zhejiang Province reportedly died of electrocution in a ward lavatory on July 1. The death was thought to have been caused by a faulty electrical circuit.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2009)

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