Beijing (AFP) May 16, 2009
A third confirmed swine flu case on the Chinese mainland was reported in Beijing late Saturday, state media quoted the Ministry of Health as saying.
The official Xinhua news agency said the newly confirmed case of A(H1N1), as the disease is officially known, involved an 18-year-old woman who had been previously reported as a suspected case by the Emergency Management Office of Beijing Municipal Government.
Xinhua said the student was from Beijing and "studies in a university in the New York State of the United States".
It quoted the health ministry as saying the patient arrived in Beijing on May 11 on board Continental Airlines flight C089 and travelled home from the airport accompanied by her mother.
It said the patient did not go out or meet anyone else before developing flu-like symptoms on the afternoon of May 12 and going to the fever outpatient section of the Peking University First Hospital in the evening on May 14.
The new case follows confirmation of a second case on Wednesday when a 19-year-old student who had recently arrived from Canada was diagnosed with the A(H1N1) virus in east China's Shandong province, where he had travelled by train after flying into Beijing.
The news came just days after a 30-year-old man was confirmed as mainland China's first case, after arriving in the southwestern city of Chengdu from the United States via Tokyo and the Chinese capital.
Two cases of swine flu, which has killed more than 60 people worldwide, have also been confirmed in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city of Hong Kong.
The number of people killed by the influenza A(H1N1) virus rose to 72, compared with 65 on Friday, with six more in Mexico and one in the United States, the World Health Organisation said Saturday.
Over the past week the number of people infected by the virus has risen sharply, going up by around 1,000 a day since Monday to reach 8,451 on Saturday, the organisation said.
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Six years after its sluggish response to SARS, China has been criticised for overreacting to swine flu, showing it has not yet found the right prescription for dealing with a health crisis, experts said. With memories of the Severe Acute Respiratory Disease outbreak still fresh, China reacted quickly and aggressively to prevent swine flu, or the A(H1N1) virus, from reaching its soil. ... read more
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