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Swine flu victim in Shanghai in critical state
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Shanghai's first serious victim of swine flu was still in a critical condition with multiple organ failure, doctors said yesterday.

The 35-year-old migrant worker is in a coma at Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital in Songjiang District, but his vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure were stable, said Dr Lu Hongzhou, an infectious disease expert on the treatment team.

Five experts from the Ministry of Health are in the city to assist local doctors in treating the man, who became ill last Thursday with severe symptoms and difficulty breathing.

He was confirmed to be carrying the H1N1 swine flu virus last Friday. Apart from being obese, the patient had no other complicating factors, Lu said.

Most deaths from swine flu are among the very young and middle-aged people. "That's because those groups have a strong immune system, which reacts more actively towards the swine flu virus," Lu said. "A stronger fight between the virus and immune system can result in a bigger danger to the organs."

Though Shanghai has suffered its first serious swine flu case, experts said local residents needn't panic since the virus was controllable.

Taking sensible precautions, washing hands frequently and seeking early treatment were the keys to protecting people from the virus, experts said.

And a Shanghai-made vaccine against the flu virus will be evaluated by the State Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, officials from Shanghai Institute of Biological Products said yesterday.

That's the final hurdle before receiving an official license to begin mass production.

Wang Menglian, the institute's vice director, said the local vaccine would be the third approved by the national FDA following Sinovac Biotech Ltd in Beijing and Hualan Biological Engineering Inc in Henan.

He said the local vaccine undergoing evaluation is for people aged over three years old.

(Shanghai Daily September 7, 2009)

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