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August 14, 2009

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H1N1 patient has rare disease

A SWINE flu patient in a critical condition in southern China has a rare genetic disease, a doctor said yesterday.

The 17-year-old boy has Brugada syndrome and this disease was responsible for his condition, not H1N1 flu, said Xiao Zhenglun, deputy head of the expert team on the treatment of swine flu cases in Guangdong Province.

The boy and his parents were unaware that he had the disease. It was discovered through abnormal electrocardiogram findings. Brugada syndrome may cause sudden cardiac arrest.

The doctor said the disease might have been triggered when the boy had a fever, resulting in arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac arrest, which were the patient's symptoms when he was sent to the hospital.

The boy, a high school student in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, developed a fever on August 5. He passed out the next day at home before being hospitalized.

According to Xiao, the boy's blood pressure and heartbeat have returned to normal and most of his organs are functioning well, but he is still in a coma and fluid is collecting near his brain.

The teenager's parents and two brothers were quarantined on August 2. Their temperatures have returned to normal.

Lin Jinyan, a senior official with the Guangdong Center of Disease Control and Prevention, said as of now no major virus mutation had been detected and the "critical case" didn't mean that the H1N1 virus had become stronger.

The Chinese mainland had confirmed more than 2,420 cases of H1N1 flu as of 3pm on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said.

Of those cases, 2,240 patients have recovered and been discharged.


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