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Beijing on high alert of A/H1N1 influenza outbreak due to current temperatures plummet

2009-10-30 17:08 BJT

Special Report: World tackles A/H1N1 flu |

A second wave of A/H1N1 flu cases in China, could occur with the onset of cold weather marking the beginning of flu season. The country is intensifying prevention and treatment at the same time. As CCTV reporter Wang Mangmang finds out, the true test is yet to come.

As the entire country faces severe challenges of a potential outbreak, Beijing is on high alert. The current cold front means more people will be infected. And it could happen quickly.

Health authorities predict more than half of flu patients would be infected with the virus. In just two days, it surged to eighty percent. This is just the beginning.

Prof. Zeng Guang, Chief epidemiologist of Chinese Center for Disease Control & Prevention, said, "We've done as much as we can to delay an outbreak. But there are people who are only showing a few symptoms that cannot be detected and therefore out of our control. We cannot monitor or trace them."

So far, a total of 1,500 and two cases have been reported on the Chinese mainland. About 96% occurred in schools, with one death of a Beijing college student.

Despite the outbreak, experts say the disease is triggered by coming in contact with an infected patient's spit or body fluid, which is easier to avoid than air transmission.

Prof. Zeng Guang said, "The granule of the A/H1N1 flu virus is relatively large. So regular masks are enough to avoid it. And it doesn't stay in the air for long."

Clinical experiments show at least 85% of people receiving the vaccine will be protected from the virus and the effective duration will last till this winter or next spring. By December 20th, all Beijing residents will receive their shots, based on their willingness to get a needle.

Beijing has a long battle ahead to counter this year's flu infection. The A/H1N1 flu virus and seasonal flu are taking their toll on more people. And the peak is yet to come. Besides free vaccinations nationwide, early detection and treatment are key in curbing severe cases.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: