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January 6, 2010

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New father of triplets mourns their mother

THE joy of a new father of triplets in Qingdao City of eastern China's Shandong Province has turned to grief with the death of the children's mother from swine flu just six days after the girls were born and a hospital bill of nearly 100,000 yuan (US$14,650).

Tao Huajiang, 29, told yesterday's Qingdao Morning Post that the triplets were "the only hope and fortune left by my wife ... Now I'll bring them up."

Tao's wife, who was only identified in the paper by her surname Yang, had been diagnosed with H1N1 during pregnancy and died last week from respiration failure brought on by pneumonia associated with the virus.

Yang had suffered a fever and other symptoms during pregnancy before accepting emergency treatment at Qingdao Municipal Hospital.

The triplets were born nearly two months premature but were healthy despite slight anemia and hypoglycemia.

They were fed formula for premature babies and grew rapidly.

"Each of them have gained about 200 grams (in 10 days)," said a doctor.

The triplets went home on Saturday, the report said.

Just last week the Ministry of Health warned that pregnant women are vulnerable to H1N1 and suggested women planning to have children delay getting pregnant while the flu is at its peak. Almost 14 percent of Chinese mainland's 648 deaths from H1N1 were pregnant women, it said.


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