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December 22, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Swine flu death toll rises to 6

A MAN, 57, died from swine flu in Shanghai yesterday, bringing the city's fatality toll from the virus to six.

His death came as city health officials warned people of online snake-oil peddlers trying to cash in on the H1N1 outbreak.

The man, whose name was not released, suffered complications of severe pneumonia and other chronic illnesses after being diagnosed with a severe case of swine flu last Thursday, according to the Shanghai Health Bureau.

His condition deteriorated suddenly over the weekend in the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, officials said, and he succumbed in the early hours of the morning.

As of yesterday, the city reported 2,717 confirmed cases of swine flu. Among those 81 were severe.

Of the severely stricken, 29 patients were still being treated in hospital while another 46 had been released.

Health officials said there was no H1N1 epidemic in Shanghai and the situation was "stable and under control."

From last week, the city started to give free swine-flu vaccinations to the second tier of the at-risk population that includes college students, workers - especially non-locals - in labor-intensive enterprises, animal carers and livestock-market staff and port and frontier employees.

So-called swine-flu remedies, recipes and prescriptions have become hot items via online stores.

Household appliances with "sterilizing functions" and masks with "active carbon traditional Chinese medicine" are among the best sellers.

On, more than 3,460 "anti-H1N1 products" can be found, such as masks, perfume satchels with built-in TCM and herbal tea.

Some clothes, such as jeans, are being promoted as "warmer, to prevent H1N1."

A Shanghai vendor said he sold more than 780 masks with "active carbon" in a month.

Another vendor, who sold perfume satchels, said more than 10 types of TCM were put into the satchels.

Doctors warned people not to be gullible about products with no official authentication.

These products may be both "ineffective and unsafe."


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