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November 21, 2009

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6-year-old critical as city posts 1st serious child case of H1N1

THE Shanghai Health Bureau reported the city's fourth serious case of swine flu yesterday -- and the first child to be severely stricken by the disease.

The 6-year-old boy was being treated last night at the Children's Hospital of Fudan University, one of the two designated centers for swine flu patients.

The youngster, a local resident, was transferred from Xinhua Hospital to the children's hospital on Thursday night. His condition deteriorated rapidly, and he was depending on a respiratory machine yesterday.

"He is still in critical condition," said the hospital's Dr Wang Xiaohong, who is also a member of the city's panel of experts for swine flu prevention and control. "He underwent two expert group diagnoses, and his temperature began to return to normal and his swollen lungs eased."

The boy was confirmed to be carrying the H1N1 virus by Xinhua Hospital. He started to develop flu symptoms on November 11 and began breathing rapidly a week later.

Overall, the bureau said yesterday that the local incidence of swine flu was stable. As of Thursday afternoon, the city had detected 1,688 cases of the H1N1 virus since the first case was found in May. So far 1,459 patients have recovered, including the first and second serious cases.

The third serious case was still being treated yesterday at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, the other designated hospital for swine flu patients. Doctors said that patient was getting better.

Shanghai launched free swine flu vaccinations in mid-October for high-risk population groups, including medical personnel, public service staff and students and teachers at primary and middle schools. So far, 500,000 shots have been given out of the 2.1 million Shanghai plans to administer by the end of the year.

Some 190 people have suffered adverse reactions, but none were serious.

To further enhance swine flu prevention and control, especially in advance of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, the Shanghai Health Bureau ordered city- and district-based health supervision agencies to improve the monitoring of hospital performance in infectious disease prevention and control.

Centers for disease prevention and control, hospitals, schools, kindergartens and other key public venues are major targets of the effort.


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