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Health ministry fears increase in swine flu

THE number of locally infected cases of H1N1 cases in China was expected to soon exceed that of imported ones, a health ministry official said in Beijing yesterday.

"As the total number of infected people increases, a cluster outbreak of A/H1N1 flu in communities is likely to happen at any time, and serious cases or even fatalities are highly possible," said Liang Wannian, vice director of the emergency office under the ministry.

The mainland reported 57 new swine flu cases yesterday, raising the total number of H1N1 infections to 1,097.

With the rising number of cases, China will gradually adjust its prevention and control measures by not hospitalizing flu victims with minor symptoms, he said.

Under the adjustment, people in close contact with the patients could be observed at home instead of being put into quarantine, Liang said.

The Ministry of Health would intensify prevention measures in schools and local communities, he said.

The Beijing municipal government has allocated 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) to support the use of traditional Chinese medicine in treating swine flu.


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