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Beijing issues man swine flu warning

BEIJING has warned the city's 14th swine flu patient for having exposed many people to the virus, officials said.

The warning, a low-level punishment, was issued by the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau on Friday. Such warnings are usually recorded in a citizen's personal record.

According to the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of China, those who enter or leave the country must provide an "honest" report of their health status.

The 24-year-old patient, surnamed He, who was studying at a college in Pennsylvania in the United States, arrived in Beijing on May 31.

While he was in the US, his landlord and a roommate had flu symptoms. He failed to report this at the airport in Beijing.

On June 1, he had a sore throat and cough, but only took some medicine before going to dinner with friends. He was quarantined on June 3.

During the four days before it was confirmed he had the H1N1 virus, he went out in public frequently and took several taxis without keeping receipts, making it more difficult for authorities to locate those with whom he had been in contact, said an official surnamed Sun with the city's public relations department.

The student had close contact with 88 people, Sun said, including passengers on his flight, friends, workers in a hotel where he stayed and restaurant waiters.

The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau issued a notice to those returning from overseas on May 17. It suggested they avoid public places for the first week after returning.

As of yesterday, Beijing had reported 74 confirmed cases of swine flu, 39 of whom have recovered.

Schools have become an important front in H1N1 prevention and control, said He Xiong, vice director of Beijing's center for disease control and prevention.

From next week, if three confirmed or suspected cases are reported at one school, classes there could be suspended.


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