Health officials warn of China flu peak

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, December 11, 2009
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China will face increasing pressure to control the spread of A/H1N1 flu in the next two months, said the Ministry of Health Friday.

"As the New Year and Spring Festival draw near, the country is expecting a huge number of travelers nationwide, which will further increase pressure to control the flu," said Deng Haihua, ministry spokesman, at a press conference.

A/H1N1 flu continued to spread and the number of cases, especially serious cases, was rising, Deng said. "The epidemic showed high activity as about 91 percent of flu cases were A/H1N1 flu in China."

The total number of confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu in the mainland had topped 100,000 and fatalities totaled 326 by Wednesday.

In the week from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, the country reported 125 deaths from the A/H1N1 flu.

The next two months would be "very critical" for flu control, Deng said.

Seasonal flu reached a peak in December and January and A/H1N1 flu could follow the same pattern. Both natural and social factors would contribute to the peak, said Liang Wannian, director of the ministry's emergency response office, at the press conference.

"Some experts estimate the peak will last till March. We will closely watch developments," he said.

China started A/H1N1 flu vaccinations in September and about 32.38 million people on the mainland had been vaccinated by Wednesday, according to the ministry.

"The vaccination proved to be effective in curbing the spread of the flu," he said.

By Monday, about 3,631 people had been suspected of having adverse reactions against the vaccine.

"About one in 1 million vaccinated people reported serious adverse reactions in China. This neither exceeded the ratio in clinical tests of A/H1N1 flu vaccines at home and abroad nor figures in other countries where mass vaccinations were conducted," Deng said.

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