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Officials warn of China flu peak in next two months

Source:www.china daily.com.cn  Updated: 2009-12-11 14:06

BEIJING: China will face increasing pressure to control the spread of A(H1N1) flu in the next two months, said the Ministry of Health here Friday.

"As the New Year and Spring Festival are drawing near, the country is expecting a huge number of travelers nationwide, which will further increase pressure to control the flu," said Deng Haihua, ministry spokesman, at a press conference.

A(H1N1) flu continued to spread and the number of cases, especially serious cases, was rising, Deng said. "The epidemic showed high activity as about 91 percent of flu cases were A(H1N1) flu in China."

The total number of confirmed cases of A(H1N1) flu in the mainland had topped 100,000 and fatalities totaled 326 by Wednesday.

In the week from November 30 to December 6, the country reported 125 deaths from the A(H1N1) flu.

The next two months would be "very critical" for flu control, Deng said.

China started A(H1N1) flu vaccination in September and about 32.38 million people on the mainland have been vaccinated by Wednesday, according to the ministry.

"The vaccination proved to be effective in curbing the spread of the flu," he said.

By Monday, about 3,631 people had been suspected of having adverse reactions against the vaccine.

"About one out of 1 million vaccinated people reported serious adverse reactions in China. This neither exceeded the ratio in clinical tests of A(H1N1) flu vaccines at home and abroad nor figures in other countries where mass vaccinations were conducted, " Deng said.

Although the vaccinations proceeded smoothly, the health authorities would work even harder to cover more people, Deng said.

More people would be included in priority groups, including expectant mothers, veterinarians and migrant workers, he said.

"We will speed up the vaccinations," said Liang Wannian, director of the ministry's emergency reaction office. "Now about 1 million people are vaccinated daily on average. We hope the figure will increase to 1.5 million daily so that as many vulnerable people as possible will be vaccinated before the Spring Festival."

The festival and seven-day national vacation, traditionally for family reunions, will run from February 13 to 19.