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Nine cases added to mainland total

NINE new swine flu cases were confirmed on the Chinese mainland yesterday, bringing the total number to 33.

There was one each in Shanghai, Beijing and Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, and five in Guangdong Province.

The latest confirmed patient in Guangdong - a 22-year-old beautician at a photography studio in Guangzhou, the provincial capital - became the second case of local transmission on the mainland.

She had close contact with a 28-year-old Chinese-American man surnamed Li who had spent Monday and Tuesday with his girlfriend at the studio having photographs taken. Another beautician at the studio was confirmed to be infected with H1N1 on Friday.

The Guangdong Health Department said last night that three new cases in Shenzhen had been confirmed. They were two Chinese sisters aged 18 and 20 who flew in from New York on Thursday and a 13-year-old Canadian girl who arrived in Shenzhen from Canada on Saturday.

Earlier yesterday, a 23-year-old Chinese Venezuelan in Foshan, Guangdong, was confirmed to have H1N1. The female college student left Venezuela on Tuesday and flew to Guangzhou on Wednesday via Paris, and relatives drove her back to Foshan City, the provincial health department said.

The Guangdong Center for Disease Control and Prevention also confirmed yesterday that it had found an H1N1 virus carrier, but he showed no flu symptoms.

The 19-year-old man, who had close contact with two confirmed cases in Shenzhen, tested positive for the flu strain on Thursday. After taking preventive medicine, he tested negative for the virus yesterday.

The finding proved the assumption of foreign experts that cases of covert H1N1 infection existed, said He Jianfeng, director of the epidemic prevention and treatment institute at the center.

"It is of significance in adjusting prevention and control strategies and proves again the necessity of quarantine measures for those who have close contact with confirmed cases," he said.

The Fujian case, the fourth confirmed in the province, flew in from New York to Hong Kong via Vancouver on Tuesday. He then flew to Fuzhou on Thursday, the Fujian Health Department said.

He developed symptoms on Saturday and was treated in the Lianjiang County Hospital. Yesterday, he was transferred to the Fuzhou Pulmonary Hospital where tests confirmed he was H1N1 positive.

The new Beijing case is a seven-year-old Chinese Canadian girl who flew from Canada to Beijing on Saturday. She went directly to the Ditan Hospital on arrival at the airport.

The Zhejiang case is a 39-year-old resident of Hangzhou, the provincial capital. She went to Australia on May 17 and flew back from Melbourne to Hong Kong on Saturday and then flew to Hangzhou later that day.

The World Health Organization said that, as of Friday, 53 countries had reported 15,510 cases of H1N1 infection, including 99 deaths.


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