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City sets daily high in swine flu with 9 cases

SHANGHAI reported nine new cases of swine flu yesterday, the most in a single day.

The new patients were mostly young Chinese returning from studies in Australia, the United States and Singapore. All were hospitalized in stable condition last night.

Yesterday's confirmed cases brought the city's total H1N1 infections to 32. Fourteen patients have recovered and been sent home.

The latest case involved a 15-year-old Chinese girl who had been studying in the United States. She arrived in Shanghai at 8:10pm on Monday on All Nippon Airways flight NH0921 from Tokyo.

The new cases also involved four Chinese males and two females returning from studies in Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne; a five-year-old American girl from San Francisco; and a 19-year-old female Australian student from Sydney.

Authorities have put 227 people who were in close contact with the new patients under medical observation and were searching for others.

China said yesterday that dozens of American high school students were quarantined last Thursday in Yichang in central China's Hubei Province after seven students and teachers were confirmed to be infected with swine flu.

US students held

According to China's Foreign Ministry, the American patients have been isolated from the rest of the group and are in stable condition.

The ministry did not say where the students came from, but earlier reports in the US said 36 students from a private school in Carlsbad, California, were quarantined in a hotel in China on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported 28 new swine flu cases, including Shanghai's nine, yesterday, bringing the total to 264 on China's mainland.

Hong Kong reported 54 new cases, putting the total at 172. And there were three new cases in Taiwan, making 58 in all so far on the island.

China's top epidemiologist said on Tuesday the nation is prepared for any mutation in the swine flu virus.

The World Health Organization has warned countries to prepare for a second wave of infections, saying the virus could mutate.

"We are well prepared for the battle against any possible new mutation of the flu virus," Xinhua news agency quoted Zeng Guang, China's top epidemiologist, as saying.

Authorities have been enforcing quarantines and temperature checks at airports throughout the country, but Zeng said China may change its control and prevention measures to be "more scientific, specific and cost-effective." He did not give details.


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