Chinese mainland A/H1N1 flu cases rise to nearly 4,000

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The Chinese mainland confirmed 224 new cases of the A/H1N1 influenza in the 48 hours ending 3 p.m. Wednesday, bringing total infections to 3,981, the Ministry of Health said.

Among the newly confirmed case, 199 were "imported cases" and the remaining 25 were infected on the Chinese mainland, said the ministry.

Nearly 3,400 of the infected have recovered, the ministry said, adding that no fatal case has so far been reported.

Recent cases of group infection have also highlighted the rising risk of an A/H1N1 flu pandemic in China. On Sunday, a senior high school in central China's Henan Province reported 80 confirmed flu cases, and reported 29 new confirmed cases Tuesday. while a junior high school in northwestern Gansu Province reported 26 cases.

So far, vaccines for the A/H1N1 flu virus produced by two Chinese pharmaceutical companies, Sinovac and Hualan Biological Engineering Inc., have passed expert evaluation organized by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

Both companies are hopeful of getting production licenses for their drugs this week, if given the green lights by the SFDA.

Health Minister Chen Zhu said in August that China would be able to produce enough A/H1N1 flu vaccine for 65 million people by the end of the year.

The Chinese mainland reported its first critical case of the A/H1N1 flu on Aug.13. The case involved a 17-year-old high school student in the southern province of Guangdong who had been in a coma for about a week at the time.

He was later diagnosed with a rare genetic disease named Brugada Syndrome, which was believed to have led to his critical condition, his doctors said.

On July 1, an infected patient in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, reportedly died of electrocution in a ward lavatory. The death was thought to have been caused by a faulty electrical circuit.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2009)

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