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January 18, 2010

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H1N1 boy alive when released from hospital

THE three-year-old toddler who was infected with swine flu and whose body was discovered in a ditch in Guangzhou City was alive when discharged from hospital, according to a government investigation.

However, the family claimed they were not properly informed of the boy's condition, the Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday, citing a government press release.

Meanwhile, police said they suspected no crime.

The Guangzhou government said on Saturday that Zhou Hongdu was alive when released from hospital on December 6.

According to Guangzhou's health authorities, Zhou was sent to the No. 1 Hospital on November 26 for fever and coughs and moved to Guangzhou Children's Hospital on December 3 for quarantine because he was diagnosed with H1N1 virus.

He became critically ill in the next two days and the hospital reported his situation to the family four times.

Zhou's family members twice negotiated with the hospital on December 6 to end treatment even though Zhou's condition had improved and a further test on the virus proved negative.

The hospital agreed and Zhou's father signed a statement saying he understood his son's condition and that the hospital should not be blamed for any deterioration after discharging the boy.

The family picked up Zhou about 11pm that day.

Zhou's body was found three days later in a ditch alongside an expressway.

Zhou's family initially insisted that the hospital said there was little chance Zhou would survive before they signed to end treatment.

The family even complained that they were not told the boy had swine flu.


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