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Schools ordered to ramp up flu prevention measures ahead of new semester
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China's education and health authorities have ordered schools to quarantine students and downsize classes, and even entitled them to reschedule the new semester date, if necessary, to curb the spread of A/H1N1 influenza ahead of the new semester.

Students who have close contact with A/H1N1 influenza patients are required to be quarantined at home for at least seven days and are allowed to go back to school only if they show no symptom of the disease, according to a notice jointly issued by the ministries of education and health Friday.

For those students who display flu symptoms seven days ahead of the new semester, they can only go back to school after full recovery, it said.

College students living in areas severely threatened by the disease are required to return a week before the new semester starts to receive medical observation.

Students are also required to report to schools and nurseries if they show any suspicious symptoms of the influenza, such as fever, cough, or previously have any contact with A/H1N1 patients.

Education authorities in areas under severe threat of the pandemic disease are entitled to stagger or postpone the new semester date, which usually falls on Sept. 1, according to the notice.

The ministry aslo asked schools to ramp up education on disease prevention and control and said schools should carrry out daily health checks for students and faculty.

Schools should avoid indoor mass gatherings and cut big classes into smaller ones to prevent the spread of the disease, it said.

The Chinese mainland confirmed 2,537 cases of A/H1N1 influenza as of 3 p.m. Friday. Among them, no deadly case of the influenza has been reported.

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2009)

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