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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:11, June 29, 2006
China strenghens surveillence of flu-like outbreaks
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China's Ministry of Health on Wednesday issued guidelines for reporting and investigating flu-like cases to strengthen surveillance of possible outbreaks.

The timely discovery and response to the outbreaks will help control the spread of the disease, the ministry statement said.

China has seen a number of influenza-like outbreaks in recent years and the outbreaks usually occur at places where a lot of people are clustered together such as schools.

The flu-like symptoms include fever, coughing or a sore throat, according to the guidelines.

The guidelines require that places with more than 30 flu-like cases in a week, or five cases of hospitalization, or one fatality caused by these diseases should report to the county's center for disease control and prevention (CDC) within two hours after the discovery.

Once lab tests confirm the cases as influenza, information of every individual case should be reported directly to the ministry through the network, the statement said.

China's first human bird flu case, a nine-year old boy in central China's Hunan province, was sick with the flu-like symptoms and his parents thought it was just flu at first.

China reported the 19th human case of bird flu early this month.

Scientists fear the H5N1 virus will mutate into a highly contagious form, possibly sparking a global pandemic. So far, most human cases have been linked to infected birds.

Source: Xinhua

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