S Korea warns against wider spread of A/H1N1 flu in fall

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South Korean health officials on Thursday voiced concern that A/H1N1 flu may spread more widely and rapidly in this fall with the beginning of a new semester in schools, and vowed the government will take all required precautionary measures to combat the disease.

Since students ended their summer vacations and schools started a new semester, "the new flu is expected to spread more widely in the fall", Health and Welfare Minister Jeon Jae-hee said in a parliamentary meeting.

"After some people go through the latent period, October will be a critical point to examine the scale of the pandemic," the Yonhap News Agency quoted the minister as saying.

Jeon said the health authorities are beefing up measures to prevent further infection while the new virus is rapidly spreading around local communities.

The health ministry said last week it will vaccinate 10 million people against the A/H1N1 virus within the year.

South Korea reported its 4th death case related to the A/H1N1 flu virus on Wednesday, and so far a total of 4,293 cases have been confirmed since the country reported its first flu outbreak in early May, Yonhap said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2009)

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