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Contacts hunted in suspected swine flu

CHINESE health authorities have begun tracing passengers who may have traveled in the same train carriage as a man who was reported yesterday to be a new suspected case of swine flu.

The man, surnamed Yang, returned to Chinese mainland on Friday from a tour of the United States and Canada, according to the Ministry of Health. He flew into Hong Kong via South Korea on Wednesday, then took a train to the southern province of Guangdong on Friday.

Sixty-five of the 93 people exposed to Yang on train T810 had been contacted by health departments and were put under quarantine.

The Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed yesterday that Yang took Korean Air flight KE020 from Seattle to Seoul last Tuesday. He then transferred to Korean Air flight KE607 to Hong Kong the following day.

The Guangdong Provincial Health Department said yesterday that Yang was admitted into the No. 8 People's Hospital of Guangzhou on Friday.

Yang, a native of Guangzhou, Guangdong's capital, lives in Nanhai. In late April, he joined a tour group visiting Canada and the US.

According to the Guangdong Provincial Health Department, the patient developed a sore throat, stuffy nose and a cough on Thursday. He caught the two-hour train in Hong Kong at 4:35pm on Friday, riding in carriage No. 7.

Yang had normal temperature when he boarded the train, but he developed a fever halfway through the journey and was taken to the hospital for isolation and medical treatment.

Experts from the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and other health organizations conducted laboratory tests on Sunday. The result was positive for the H1N1 virus.

The ministry confirmed yesterday it had received a report from Guangdong's Health Department at midday about the suspected case of swine flu.

Provincial health authorities said Yang regained a normal temperature yesterday afternoon, and his condition was stable.

If the diagnosis is confirmed, Yang will become the fourth case of swine flu on the Chinese mainland.

The others were in Chengdu, Sichuan Province; Jinan, Shandong Province; and Beijing.


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