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2 confirmed flu patients released from hospital

TWO confirmed A/H1N1 influenza patients were discharged from hospitals in Beijing and Guangzhou today after a week of treatment.

One of the two patients was 18-year-old Liu Xinwei, who was diagnosed with the flu after she returned from the United States. She was hospitalized at Beijing's Ditan Hospital on May 15 and had a video meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday.

Liu, wearing a red T-shirt and blue mask and accompanied by her father, met the press before she left hospital at 10 a.m.. She waved and greeted the crowd with a broad smile. "Many thanks to Premier Wen and all the medical workers who took care of me the past week," she said.

Beijing health chief Fang Laiying presented her a pink teddy bear and a bouquet of red roses.

Mao Yu, president of Ditan Hospital, said Liu had "fully recovered" and would suffer no aftereffects.

The other patient, surnamed Yang, took a low-key departure from the No. 8 People's Hospital in Guangzhou very early in the morning, said hospital president Yang Zhan at a press briefing.

"At the patient's request for a low-key return to normal life, we didn't arrange a farewell ceremony or allow the press to meet him," he said.

Yang Zhan said the patient's temperature had been normal since Monday and all his symptoms had disappeared by Tuesday. "He tested negative for A/H1N1 in two separate tests Wednesday and Thursday and has met requirements set by the Chinese Health Ministry for discharge from hospital."

He didn't say exactly when the patient was discharged. Sources close to the patient told Xinhua he left at around 1 a.m..

The patient flew to Hong Kong via the Republic of Korea on May 13 after a trip to Canada and the United States, and then took a train to Guangdong on May 15.

The provincial health department said Friday they had found and put under quarantine 90 of the 93 people who had close contact with the patient and no flu symptoms had been observed among them. The quarantine is expected to end at 7 p.m. Friday.

One more confirmed A/H1N1 flu patient, also surnamed Yang, remains at Beijing's Ditan Hospital.

A doctor, surnamed Wu, said Thursday that Yang had a temperature of 37.6 Celsius as of 3 p.m. Thursday, compared to 39.1 degrees at the time he was sent to the hospital Wednesday.

Wu also said Yang's had also regained his appetite.

To date, Chinese mainland has reported five confirmed cases of the A/H1N1 influenza. The first two patients -- one from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and the other from Shandong's Jinan -- were discharged from hospitals Monday and Tuesday.

All five contracted the virus overseas and developed the flu shortly after arriving in the Chinese mainland.


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