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December 25, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Shanghai H1N1 death toll hits 7

SHANGHAI'S swine-flu death toll reached seven yesterday when a 41-year-old man succumbed to the virus.

The man was diagnosed as a serious case on Wednesday.

He was in a critical condition due to the viral infection complicated by pneumonia and kidney disease. The man died in the early hours of the morning in Zhabei District Central Hospital.

The Shanghai Health Bureau said the city had detected 2,828 cases of swine flu since the first was found in May.

So far there have been 89 people seriously sickened by the virus. Fifty-five of these patients have recovered and been discharged, while 27, including a three-year-old girl, are still hospitalized.

The girl, from Anhui Province, is being treated at the Children's Hospital of Fudan University, a designated swine-flu treatment facility.

She was sent to the hospital on November 28 and remains in a critical condition. "The patient is still depending on a respiratory machine," said Dr Wang Yi, vice president of the hospital.

Song Guofan, a bureau official, said the city had provided free inoculations to more than 1.2 million at-risk sectors of the population, including medical staff and students and teachers of primary and middle schools.

Authorities have started to give swine-flu vaccine to the second batch of the most at-risk people, such as migrant workers serving in labor-intensive enterprises and poultry farm workers after the Ministry of Health widened the eligibility scope for free inoculations two weeks ago.

"Vaccinations for pregnant women, which were also included in the expanded inoculation plan, haven't started yet," Song said.

Health officials said the city was still in the peak period for swine flu and urged residents to stay alert, keep warm and take precautionary measures such as wearing masks outdoors.

"We are still seeing an increase in serious cases," Song said. "With the further drop in temperatures, the virus may further spread."

Song said the New Year and Spring Festival periods, with a large mobile population, were key danger periods.


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