Sat, June 06, 2009
Lifestyle > Health

China leads Asia-Pacific in new flu cases on June 6

2009-06-06 16:43:59 GMT2009-06-07 00:43:59 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

HONG KONG, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Asia-Pacific region reportedly had 9 new confirmed Influenza A/H1N1 cases on Saturday, with China taking the lead by 6 cases, 3 in the mainland and another 3 in Hong Kong. Japan, Singapore and Malaysia also reported new cases on the same day.

Three more A/H1N1 flu cases were confirmed on the Chinese mainland Saturday, bringing the total number to 70.

In Hubei Province, a 18-month-old girl was tested A/H1N1 positive Thursday, the provincial health administration said Saturday. The Chinese-American, the third confirmed case of the virus in the province, arrived in the provincial capital of Wuhan on May 30 via a flight from Dallas, the United States.

In Guangdong Province, a 19-year-old man was tested A/H1N1 positive Friday, the provincial health administration said. The man, Guangdong's 23rd confirmed case, left Canada with symptoms of cough, headache and sore throat and arrived in Shenzhen city Thursday. The administration has quarantined 24 people who had close contact with him and is tracing others. So far, 12 A/H1N1 flu patients have recovered and left hospital and 11 are still being treated in Guangdong.

In Sichuan Province, a 40-year-old woman was confirmed to have the virus Saturday, the second such case in the region. The Chinese-American arrived in the provincial capital of Chengdu on Tuesday and began a trip in the Jiuzhaigou tourist destination in Sichuan Wednesday. She felt sick Thursday and returned to Chengdu Friday. The local health authorities have traced some 110 people who had close contact with her.

Hong Kong also reported three newly confirmed cases of influenza A/H1N1 on Saturday, bringing the accumulated number of confirmed cases in the city to 33, with all being imported cases, health authorities said in an announcement in the evening.

The first newly confirmed case involved a 20-year-old woman, who left Geneva for London aboard British Airways flight BA729 on June 4 and then traveled to Hong Kong aboard BA025. She arrived in Hong Kong at about 2:00 p.m. on June 5. She sat in row 34 and put on a mask during the journey as she developed cough on the flight.

She was intercepted by port health officers at the airport and taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) by ambulance for isolation.

The second case involved an 18-year-old man who returned to Hong Kong from Toronto on June 4 by taking Cathay Pacific flight CX827. He sat in row 34. He had onset of cough on the flight and put on a mask, nevertheless headed back home on a taxi from the airport. The man sought medical treatment at a private clinic in the evening.

He went to the Immigration Department office in Fo Tan with his mother on a taxi to apply for some documents and then took another taxi to the Prince of Wales Hospital, where the man was admitted for isolation. His parents had no symptoms.

The third case involved a 25-year-old woman who returned from Canada to Hong Kong on June 3 aboard Cathy Pacific flight CX839. She lives in Ma On Shan. The woman went to her office in Central in the morning of June 5 and had onset of cough in the afternoon. She had fever on June 6 before seeking medical help at a private clinic. She took a taxi together with her mother to a public hospital, where she was admitted for isolation.

Laboratory tests on Saturday showed influenza A/H1N1 positive for all the three.

With one more case reported in Osaka City, Japan's infections of A/H1N1 flu totaled 415 on Saturday. According to the Osaka municipal government, the patient, who is a 6-year-old boy, recently visited Hawaii with his family.

As the new flu appears to be running out of steam, Kazuyoshi Kaneko, Japanese minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, on Friday urged the government to declare an end of A/H1N1 influenza epidemic in Japan.

Kaneko made the request as the nation's tourism industry has been hard hit in western Japan due to a large number of cancellations of school excursions and other trips.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura, however, said that time has not come for Japan to declare the end of the epidemic though things are going in that direction.

Japan needs to coordinate with other flu-hit countries in order to announce the end of the outbreak, he added.

The Malaysian Health Ministry Saturday confirmed that a female student from Australia has been infected with A/H1N1 flu, the seventh case confirmed in Malaysia.

The 15-year-old girl arrived at Malaysia's Low Cost Carrier Terminal Friday morning on AirAsia X D7 2723 from Melbourne together with her mother, said Malaysian Health Ministry director-general Ismail Merican.

She was detected with fever when undergoing the thermal scanner screening at the airport, and was immediately referred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital after she told medical personnel that she had started having fever, cough and sore throat the day before she arrived in Malaysia, Ismail said in a statement.

The girl's mother did not show any symptoms, but had been placed under home quarantine.

The ministry was urging other passengers on the flight to contact it quickly.

Singapore reported one more confirmed case of Influenza A/H1N1 on Saturday, bringing the number of total cases in the city state to 15.

According to a statement issued by Singapore's Ministry of Health, the 15th confirmed case is a 39-year-old Indonesian female, who is the aunt of the 11th case here.

On June 1, she went to Singapore's Changi Airport to fetch her niece when the latter arrived here from New York via Frankfurt. Her niece, who developed symptoms on June 2, was confirmed positive on June 3.

The Indonesian female was confirmed positive after laboratory results on Saturday, and three of her household members have already been placed on home quarantine order.

The new patient, who has mild symptoms, is now in stable condition.

In a related development, Singapore's Health Minister Khaw BoonWan said on Saturday that it has been six weeks since the World Health Organization (WHO) sounded the alert on the Influenza A/H1N1 outbreak and there has been no evidence of communal spread of the virus in the city state yet.

Describing it as an achievement, the minister also urged Singaporeans to remain vigilant and practice good hygiene to keep the virus at bay.

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