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Home > East Asia > 

New flu strain sparks fear in China
The Epoch Times
11/18/2004

The isolation of a new virulent strain of Influenza found in a 27-year-old male hospital patient was the first step to confirming a new flu epidemic in Tianjin, a municipality close to Beijing. According to MingpaoNews.com, the Disease Control and Prevention Center in Tianjin City has identified the Influenza strain, Type A3b, as the most easily communicable type of flu virus.
Flu control and prevention networks in Beijing and its suburbs are working full-force in response to this flu epidemic. Medical staff in local clinics are demanding that any patients diagnosed with the flu must leave their jobs and remain confined in their homes to prevent the further spread of the virus.

News reports from the Disease Prevention and Control Center in Beijing said that as of September 20, more than 144,900 people in Beijing and 18 surrounding counties have received flu shots. Among them were 4,500 preschool children, 10,000 students, and 129,700 adults.

Experts said that the specimen from which the strain of virus was isolated was obtained from a national-level influenza control hospital, after the patient was admitted on August 6. On the same day a specimen was obtained and a strain of influenza virus was isolated from the culture and was identified as Influenza Type H3n2, also known as Influenza Type A3b.

Tianjin has emphasized flu control and prevention research efforts for some time. This expertise allowed doctors in Tianjin to isolate the virus there first. Their studies reveal that the flu virus has been widespread in Tianjin since August.

The department in charge of flu control and prevention in Beijing found out that people’s immunity to this type of flu virus is lower and therefore it is easier to catch this strain of flu. Last winter this type of flu appeared in some European countries and North America.

Some international health organizations postulate that this flu strain flu has been spreading worldwide and might cause a worldwide flu outbreak soon.

Health experts explain that it has been 36 years since the last flu pandemic. Throughout history, the usual interval between flu pandemics has been between 11 and 39 years.

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