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More H1N1 cases stoking public fears in China

In October, the H1N1 flu pandemic killed seven people on the Chinese mainland, stoking the public's fears, and leading them to wonder what the death toll of the disease will be.

A multitude of comments posted by concerned netizens have flooded the Internet recently, particularly after the latest H1N1 deaths of healthy young students. Some parents even kept schoolchildren at home as a precaution.

In response, health minister Chen Zhu tried to ease the mounting fear. "There is no need to panic and the pandemic is still well under control," he said last week.

The latest nationwide survey, however, showed that more than 80 percent of flu patients in the country tested positive for H1N1. In September, that figure was only about 20 percent across the nation.

The latest Ministry of Health tally showed that as of Nov 1, China has reported about 47,500 H1N1 flu cases on the mainland, including 104 severe cases and seven fatalities.

A 14-year-old middle school student in Changning city of central Hunan province died on Saturday, becoming the latest victim killed by the virus.

Experts are expecting the numbers to surge in most parts of China because the country has entered the peak flu season of autumn and winter.

About 10 to 20 percent of the population might get infected, estimated Liang Wannian, deputy director of emergency response office under the Ministry of Health.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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