Though there were now fewer A/H1N1 influenza cases on a daily basis in the Chinese mainland, a medical expert warned Sunday that serious or fatal cases would still be hard to avoid in the future.
However, continuing infection or even deaths did not mean there had been a fundamental change in the disease, said Yang Weizhong, vice director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Whether the virus is becoming more serious depends on the mortality rate and drug resistance.
That needs both lab tests and clinical observation to tell," he said.
The Chinese mainland had reported 2,264 A/H1N1 flu cases by Friday, 2,122 of which had recovered, according to the Ministry of Health. No further deaths or serious case had been reported.
By Thursday, the total of A/H1N1 fatalities worldwide stood at 1,154, about 75 percent of whom were pregnant women or suffered asthma, immune deficiency or other chronic diseases. More that 160,000 A/H1N1 flu cases had been reported.
As many mild cases of A/H1N1 flu were believed not to have been reported, the actual mortality rate was close to seasonal flu, Yang said.
But given the double risk of A/H1N1 and seasonal influenza, he said, people should become vaccinated against the seasonal variety by the end of September -- rather than October, as was previously the case.
"From past experience, a second wave of flu the next autumn and winter is usually more serious than the initial outbreak," Yang said. "So we still can't take it lightly."
"Prevention is especially important in local communities and schools," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 10, 2009)