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Beijing spends US$1.5mln treating A/H1N1 flu through TCM
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The Beijing municipal government has allocated 10 million yuan (about 1.46 million U.S. dollars) to support the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in treating the A/H1N1 influenza, the Beijing Administration Bureau of TCM (BJTCM) confirmed to Xinhua Monday.

Of the 10 million yuan, four million would be spent on clinical tests and the rest on lab research to find or develop proper TCM for the disease, Monday's The Beijing News reported.

Wang Yuguang, a director of the Chinese and Western medicine center in Beijing Ditan Hospital, one of the capital's main hospitals admitting A/H1N1 patients, told Xinhua Monday that they are working hard to prepare the right TCM before possible A/H1N1 outbreaks in autumn and winter.

"It is very likely that we can make it," he said.

Tu Zhitao, a director in the BJTCM, was quoted by The Beijing News as saying that Beijing had treated more than 30 A/H1N1 patients with TCM only and over 10 of them had been discharged from hospital.

"But those cured by TCM only showed minor symptoms when they were admitted to hospital," Wang said.

TCM is commonly used by the Chinese to treat regular flu, but its effect is often a couple of days slower than Western medicine. Also, for strong regular flu, patients tended to choose Western medicine.

China had 1040 confirmed A/H1N1 patients by Sunday and 756 of them had been discharged from hospital, according to the Ministry of Health. There have been no deaths directly caused by the influenza reported so far.

(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2009)

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