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Deaths 'not sign' flu virus is out of control

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

08:45, January 07, 2013

Two people have died in Beijing since late December after contracting a flu virus that caused a global panic in 2009.

Yet, despite its potential for harm, the virus — initially known as swine flu — is not as threatening as it was originally and can be contained, according to Beijing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both victims of the influenza A, or H1N1, virus were already in poor health when they contracted it, said Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the organization.

One was a 22-year-old with anemia, the other was a 65-year-old at the terminal stage of bone marrow cancer, she said.

The city tested 375 influenzalike samples from Dec 24 to 30. Of those, 92 came back with positive readings for flu virus, Deng Ying, director of the centers, said on Saturday.

"The positive rate was 24.53 percent," Deng said. "Influenza A virus has become much more active."

The virus was discovered in 2009 and spread quickly across the world, claiming more than 80 lives in Beijing that year and in 2010.

Monitoring also showed that the number of patients who exhibited influenzalike symptoms from Dec 24 to 30 was greater than it had been in the same period in any year since 2008, Deng said.

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