Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Pollution triggers breathing woes

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

10:54, January 16, 2013

Wang Ruoqi (left), a 2-year-old girl, inhales medicine to treat her bronchitis at the pediatric department of China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing on Tuesday. (China Daily/Feng Yongbin)

Smog has helped trigger a wave of respiratory ailments in the past several days in Beijing, while flu viruses such as H1N1 continue to spread across the city, experts said.

Ma Anlin, deputy director of the department of infectious diseases of China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said the hospital's fever clinics, including that in the pediatric department, are receiving 600 people a day, many more than in the same period last year.

"A large number of the patients show flu-like symptoms. It is a relatively concentrated outbreak of flu-like cases since the outbreak of H1N1 flu in the spring of 2009, but the prevalence is still at a low level," he said.

"Flu viruses tend to reach a peak in their activity every two decades and have smaller outbreaks every three to five years. Also, they tend to be more active in extreme weather, such as in this unusually cold winter."

Meanwhile, the clinics received slightly more visits around Sunday, when air pollution caused by the smog assisted the spread of viruses, Ma said.

"The most effective way to prevent flu is ventilation. However, in an environment where the air is still or moves at a slow pace, such as when there are many particles in the air, it will heighten the risk of inhaling them," he said.

"Also, too many particles inhaled may disrupt the hairlike cilia in human airways, which act to keep out dirt and micro-organisms, making it easier for the virus to contact the respiratory tract directly."

Li Yanming, a doctor at the respiration department of Beijing Hospital, agreed, and believed the damage the smog does to one's respiratory system is much greater than cold weather.

"Too many inhalable particles in the air will defy the self-cleaning function of the respiratory system, so some of the particles may enter the lower respiratory tract and even the lungs," she said.

【1】 【2】

We Recommend:

2012 year in review: Steps of growth

2012 year in review: Say goodbye

2012 in review: Questions on responsibility

China’s weekly story (2012.12.27-2013.1.4)

New Year Wishes from left-behind children

Kazak's wonderful falcon game in Xinjiang

Food is the paramount necessity of life

Dense fog causes serious air pollution

Twisted, ugly ‘Tower of Large Intestine’ found


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Lanzhou MAC in actual-combat drill

  2. Submarine flotilla in routine training

  3. Unforgettable moments you cannot miss in Jan.

  4. Who has stolen our air quality?

  5. Killer's girlfriend on trial for helping lover

  6. Speica focus: Breathing Dust

  7. Food and flower festivals

  8. Have fun picking strawberries in Jinshan

  9. Robot Restaurant in Harbin

  10. Japanese crazy for blood types

Most Popular


  1. China Voice: Living better or living green?
  2. Families of migrant workers are least happy in 2012
  3. Japan’s hopes to contain China laughable
  4. Sino-Indian ties
  5. Li pledges measures in fight for clean air
  6. A competent ‘general’ is also a good ‘platoon leader’
  7. Highlighting the skills you need in a changing China
  8. Will there be another Liu Xiang in China?
  9. Heavy smog reveals generation gap
  10. A very rash act by the US

What’s happening in China

Why supervision on 'drug chicken' lacks intensity?

  1. China's rich prefer to give Louis Vuitton
  2. Schools take precautions after threats
  3. China uncovers 670 gun-related crime dens
  4. Killer's girlfriend on trial for helping lover
  5. Beijing leads nation on rich list