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Chinese student in quarantine for flu virus

Chinese mainland reported its first suspected human case of swine flu yesterday, two days after a Mexican flu patient was discharged from hospital in Hong Kong.

The Ministry of Health last night said the man suspected of the H1N1 virus had been put under quarantine in a hospital in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.

China has ordered local authorities to track down those who have come into close contact with the 30-year-old man, identified only by his surname as Bao, who had just returned from a study trip at a university in the United States.

The ministry urged those who had been on the same flight as Bao to contact their local medical authorities.

Bao flew to Tokyo from St Louis, Missouri last Thursday. The next day, he boarded a Northwest Airlines NW029 flight in Tokyo and arrived at Beijing's Capital International Airport about 1:30am on Saturday.

Bao then took the Sichuan Airlines U8882 flight from Beijing to the capital city of the southwest province. On the flight to Chengdu, Bao began to have symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, and a stuffy and runny nose, the health ministry said.

After arriving at Chengdu at 1:17pm on Saturday, Bao went directly to the Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital.

Yesterday morning, tests at the provincial Disease Control and Prevention Center indicated the H1N1 virus. Then the provincial health department called in experts who diagnosed Bao as a suspected human case of swine flu, the ministry said.

Authorities have transferred Bao to Chengdu Contagious Disease Hospital and "put under medical observation" an unspecified number of people who had been in close contact with Bao during his medical examination, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the Sichuan Center for Disease Control, Bao's girlfriend and his father who were in contact with Bao, are in quarantine.

Also in quarantine is a local taxi driver, according to Sichuan Provincial Department of Public Health.

The department said there were altogether 150 passengers aboard the Sichuan Airlines flight and more than 130 of them had been found.

The health ministry had sent a team of experts to Chengdu to help coordinate medical efforts, Xinhua said.

The ministry has reported the case to the World Health Organization and relevant countries and regions.

On Friday night, authorities in Hong Kong released a Mexican man, Asia's first human case of swine flu, after a week-long quarantine.

The 25-year-old Mexican man was diagnosed on May 1 with swine flu after he arrived on a China Eastern flight from Shanghai on April 30.

The man had taken an Aeromexico flight on April 30 to Shanghai from Mexico City.


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