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China reports 648 deaths from swine flu

THE Chinese mainland reported 648 deaths from the swine flu as of Dec. 31, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

More than 120,000 swine flu cases were reported up to the last day of 2009, 110,000 cases of which had recovered, the ministry said.

Swine flu accounted for 85.9 percent of flu cases, a minor drop from November, it said.

The ministry said there were fewer cases of large outbreak in schools of major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai last month, but the epidemic still spread in the countryside and urban communities.

There was also a drop in the weekly reported number of new cases but the number of serious cases and deaths, especially those of chronic patients, obese people and pregnant women, increased sharply, it said.

As of Dec. 31, more than 49.9 million people nationwide had been inoculated against the swine flu, it said, adding about 12 people for every 100,000 were suspected of having adverse reaction related to the vaccine, similar to data from the World Health Organization.

The ministry said last month that China would face increasing pressure of flu control in the next two months due to nationwide flow of large population during the New Year and Spring Festival holidays.


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