China confirms 1st case of A/H1N1 influenza on mainland
www.chinaview.cn 2009-05-11 11:38:15   Print
A Chinese mainland male surnamed Bao tested positive for A/H1N1 influenza.
Those who had close contact with him were isolated for observation.
Most of passengers aboard flight from Beijing to Chengdu with Bao had already been found.

    by Xinhua writer Wang Cong

    BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese mainland male surnamed Bao, who recently returned from the United States, tested positive for the A/H1N1 influenza, the Ministry of Health said Monday.

    The 30-year-old patient was at the Chengdu Infectious Disease Hospital in Chengdu, southwestern Sichuan's provincial capital. Those who had close contact with him were isolated for observation.

Officials of the Sichuan health department speak at a news briefing in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 11, 2009. A Chinese mainland male surnamed Bao who recently traveled back from the United States has tested positive for the A/H1N1 influenza, China's ministry of health said Monday. It is first such case reported in China's mainland. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
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    The patient is currently in a stable condition with a normal body temperature, and is "recovering", the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on its website.

    It is the first such case reported on the Chinese mainland.

    Bao arrived in Beijing on board the Northwest Airlines flight NW029 on May 9, after making a transfer in Tokyo from St. Louis, in the United States. His body temperature was normal when entering China. He then flew from Beijing to Chengdu on Sichuan Airlines flight 3U8882 on the same day.

    A student of the University of Missouri in the U.S., Bao was found to have a fever on the flight from Beijing to Chengdu accompanied by sore throats, coughing, a stuffy nose and sneezing.

Zhu Xiaoping (L), a senior official of Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, answers questions from the media after a news briefing held by the Sichuan health department in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 11, 2009. A Chinese mainland male surnamed Bao who recently traveled back from the United States has tested positive for the A/H1N1 influenza, China's ministry of health said Monday. It is first such case reported in China's mainland.  (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
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    He went to the Sichuan People's Hospital after getting off the plane, and was tested "weakly positive" to A/H1N1 virus twice by the Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention. He was then transferred to the Chengdu Infectious Disease Hospital.

    Bao's girlfriend and his father who met Bao at the airport, and a taxi driver who drove them to the hospital, have been put into quarantine.

    Also isolated were the Sichuan People's Hospital medical staff who had close contact with Bao.

Li Xingwang (2nd L), an expert on the prevention and control of infectious diseases, answers questions from the media after a news briefing held by the Sichuan health department in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on May 11, 2009. A Chinese mainland male surnamed Bao who recently traveled back from the United States has tested positive for the A/H1N1 influenza, China's ministry of health said Monday. It is first such case reported in China's mainland.  (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
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    The country's health authorities of all levels were joining a manhunt Monday for passengers of the two flights that Bao had on board.

    The Sichuan Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clarified that as of 3 p.m. Monday they had contacted and quarantined 128 out of the 150 passengers aboard the flight 3U8882 from Beijing to Chengdu with Bao.

    The health ministry confirmed that most of the passengers from the flight had already been tracked down and isolated at local health institutions in 21 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

    Beijing health authorities were also seeking 147 passengers who were on the Tokyo-Beijing flight NW029 with Bao, said Sun Hao, spokesman for Beijing's emergency response liaison office. There were 106 foreign nationals on the flight.

    As of 2 p.m. Monday, the Beijing municipal health department had contacted 121 out of the 147 people on flight NW029, and were still looking for 26 other passengers, including 24 foreign nationals.

    None of the passengers found had shown fever symptoms, and the health department was "persuading them to take quarantine measures," Sun said.

    The Beijing CDC also sent text messages asking those who were on the plane with Bao to report to the center.

    In a document posted on the MOH website, the ministry ordered health authorities at all levels to remain on standby and step up monitoring of pneumonia and flu cases of no obvious origin. Special attention should be paid to people in close contact with A/H1N1 flu patients or those who had traveled to areas affected by the virus.

    Suspected flu cases must be reported to the MOH promptly to ensure instant diagnosis, quarantine and treatment, it said.

    Health experts should also be organized to follow the development of the disease and offer advice on preventing it.

    Bao was the second confirmed case of A/H1N1 influenza in China, after the World Health Organization expressed concern about an outbreak of the flu in the United States and Mexico late last month.

    A 25-year-old male Mexican was confirmed on May 1 in Hong Kong to be infected with influenza A/H1N1, and those who were in close contact with him have been put under quarantine in 19 mainland provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions as well as Hong Kong and Macao.

    So far, the A/H1N1 flu has caused 53 deaths worldwide and infected more than 4,500 people in 29 countries, including about 1,626 in Mexico, at least 2,532 in the United States and 280 in Canada.

    Haunted by memories of the SARS outbreak in 2003, China has taken tough measures to prevent the virus from spreading in the world's most populous country.

    China's flu-prevention measures include bans on pork product imports from countries and areas affected by the A/H1N1 influenza, and suspension of flights from Mexico to Shanghai. The country also placed some travelers from Mexico, who had been on the same flight with a person infected with the A/H1N1 influenza, under a week-long quarantine.

    Although the strict measures drew complaints from Mexico, Chinese health and law experts backed the government's efforts, saying they are necessary and in line with China's laws.

    A total of 555 passengers entering China were found to have fever and acute respiratory symptoms in half a month, said the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Monday.

    Their cases have been handed to local health departments for further observation or treatment, the ministry said. But there have been no reports indicating these passengers developing A/H1N1flu.

    About 5.13 million passengers entering China were screened from April 25 to May 10, it said.

    The ministry has been quarantining planes, ships, trains, automobiles and other vehicles from the countries affected by outbreaks of A/H1N1 flu.

    According to the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, 17 countries and regions affected by the A/H1N1 influenza have direct flights with Beijing.

    More than 120,000 passengers in 763 planes had entered China up to now, it said.

    Passengers entering China have been required to fill out health declaration forms so that they could be effectively traced if any A/H1N1 flu cases were found among them.

    Cui Baoxiang, the bureau's vice director, said measures including onboard inspection, taking temperatures at customs, luggage disinfection and filling out health declaration forms, were taken at the airport to prevent the flu.

    Flights from countries and regions affected by the flu had landed at designated gallery bridges at the airport, said Cui, adding if suspected cases were found in the air, the planes would land at the apron in line with instructions.

    There were currently 26 gallery bridges for flights from affected countries and regions to land, up from 15, he said, adding infrared thermometers were added at the airport, and passengers with body temperatures above 37 degrees would be transferred to hospital.

    Cui said 54 of the 738 passengers with abnormal temperatures had been sent to hospital since April 25. There have been no reports showing these passengers developing A/H1N1 flu.

    Experts said A/H1N1 flu virus has an incubation period from two- to- seven days and patients would not show a fever, headache or cough in the incubation period. This makes it hard for infected passengers to be immediately detected.

    Xu Xiaoyuan, vice director of a MOH expert panel of the A/H1N1 influenza said the A/H1N1 flu was "relatively moderate" as its mortality rate was much lower than SARS and avian influenza.

    "The mortality rate of SARS in 2003 is 7 to 14 percent, and that of avian flu is 30 to 70 percent. According to current material, the mortality rate of the A/H1N1 flu is about 1.22 percent," Xu said, asking the public not to worry about it much.

    Li Dexin, director of the institute of prevention and control of virus disease under the China CDC, said "the biological property of the A/H1N1 flu should not have large difference with other seasonal flu virus."

    Deng Haihua, director of the MOH Information Office, said two confirmed A/H1N1 cases in China were all "independent introduced cases" and "China has not found any indigenous, second-generation case.

    He added that current emphasis should still be put on tracking down people in close contact with the patient, stepping up epidemic monitoring and reporting and enhancing port quarantine measures. 

    (Xinhua reporters Wu Jing and Zhou Tingyu also contributed to this story)


Special Report:  World Tackles A/H1N1 Flu    

Beijing seeks passengers on plane that carried mainland A/H1N1 flu patient

One suspected case of A/H1N1 influenza was reported in southwest China's Sichuan Province, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday.

Media reporters gather outside the Chengdu Infectious Disease Hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan Province of China, on May 10, 2009. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
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    BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Beijing health authorities are seeking 143 passengers who were on a Tokyo-Beijing flight with a Chinese man who has become the mainland's first confirmed case of A/H1N1 flu, a government spokesman said here Monday.

    The suspected carrier took Northwest Airlines flight NW029 to Beijing on May 9, after making a transfer in Tokyo from St. Paul, Minnesota in the United States.  Full story

China tries to locate all having close contact with suspected case of A/H1N1 flu

    CHENGDU, May 11 (Xinhua) -- More than 130 of 150 passengers aboard the same flight with the Chinese mainland's first suspected case of A/H1N1 influenza, have been found and put into quarantine, according to a press conference early Monday.

    The 30-year-old man surnamed Bao, who had been tested "weakly positive" to A/H1N1 virus twice by the Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was "conscious and in stable condition," according to a press conference held by the Chengdu Municipal Government hours after a suspected case of A/H1N1 influenza had been found in southwestern Sichuan Province.   Full story 

Editor: An
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