Fri, June 19, 2009
Lifestyle > Health

Beijing issues warning to H1N1 patient for frequent public exposure

2009-06-19 16:12:48 GMT2009-06-20 00:12:48 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Beijing has given a warning to the city's 14th H1N1 patient for having exposed many people to the ailment, local authorities said Friday.

The warning, a low-level punishment in China, was issued by the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. Such warnings are usually recorded in Chinese citizens' personal records.

According to the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law of China, those who enter or leave the country must provide an "honest" report of their health status.

The 24-year-old patient, surnamed He, who was studying in a college in Pennsylvania in the United States, arrived in Beijing on May 31.

While he was in the United States, his landlord and a roommate had flu symptoms. However, he failed to report that at the airport in Beijing.

On June 1, he had a sore throat and cough, but took no action except to take some medicine before going to dinner with friends. He was quarantined on June 3.

During the four days before he was confirmed positive, he went around in public frequently and took several taxis without keeping the receipts, which made it more difficult for the authorities to locate those with whom he had been in contact, said an official surnamed Sun with the Beijing municipal public relations department.

The student had close contact with 88 people, Sun said, including some passengers on his flight, workers in a hotel where he stayed, friends and waiters in restaurants.

The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau issued a notice to those returning from overseas on May 17, suggesting that they avoid public contact for the first week after returning.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, Beijing reported 68 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu, 39 of whom have recovered. Among the patients, most were young people.

Schools had become an important avenue of H1N1 prevention and control, said He Xiong, vice director of the Beijing center of disease control and prevention.

From next week, if three confirmed or suspected cases were reported at one school, the school could suspend classes, according to the education bureau of the city.

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