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Flu cases hit Guangzhou, Xinjiang

By Cai Wenjun (Shanghai Daily)

16:40, March 12, 2012

Guangzhou reported nine flu outbreaks in schools since February and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region announced the resumption of morning checks in kindergartens and schools after many students suffered swine flu.

But officials from the Shanghai Health Bureau said yesterday that the flu situation in the city remains stable, for adults and children. Shanghai entered its peak season of respiratory diseases on November 15, and authorities enhanced monitoring and supervision of pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and human avian flu.

According to Xinhua news agency, Guangzhou has had nine flu outbreaks since February, all in schools. Experts said the outbreaks were closely related to the recent humid weather.

Wang Ming, director of the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the city's flu epidemic was accelerating.

Patients with flu accounted for 7.12 percent of total outpatient cases last week, higher than the 5.11 percent in the previous week. The figure for the last two weeks was higher than the same period last year.

Wang said Guangzhou had five flu outbreaks in February and four in the first ten days of March. One school had 300 students with flu.

Experts said the rising cases were related to poor ventilation amid very humid weather.

"People don't open windows for fear of the humid air," Wang said. "Flu virus spreads easily in rooms with many people and poor ventilation, if one sick person coughs."

The Guangzhou Health Bureau has ordered schools and kindergartens to enhance flu control and urged regular cleaning and disinfection on public transport. Staff should open windows of buses and office buildings after work.

The Xinjiang authority required strict daily check on all students and teaching staff. Anyone with flu-like syndromes such as fever and cough should be reported to local disease-control authorities for separation and further diagnosis and treatment.

The authority ordered disinfection and good ventilation in every classroom.

Classes will be shut for 15 days if three swine flu patients are confirmed, and entire schools will be shut for 15 days if having seven swine flu cases.


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