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Plan outlined to deal with flu outbreak
By Guo Nei and Cai Cai (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-22 08:39

Chinese health authorities have organized a group of experts to draft an emergency plan to deal with possible outbreaks of flu, the China Youth Daily reported yesterday.

The plan includes two parts: one is on how to increase monitoring of the flu and the second is to make preparations for flu vaccines and medicines, the report quoted official Xiao Donglou from the Ministry of Health as saying.

Once a large-scale flu outbreak happens, the ministry will take such measures as giving early-warning as well as taking necessary action to prevent the expansion of the disease, said the report.

While in South China's Guangdong Province, a senior official from the Provincial Bureau of Health said over the weekend that relevant departments have been urged to take effective and concrete measures to prevent outbreaks of flu and Japanese encephalitis that are striking Hong Kong.

Winter and the coming spring are usually a peak period for the outbreak of flu in the southern Chinese region, said the official who refused to be named.

A total of 34 children contracted the flu caused by the parainfluenza virus in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) that borders Guangdong Province.

And one of them died of the illness.

Hong Kong had detected five Japanese encephalitis cases by Thursday.

"Despite no such cases being reported in Guangdong, we have to take effective preventive measures," the official said.

Both Guangdong and Hong Kong have a very large floating population due to their close economic relations in recent years, the official added.

He said major hospitals in the province are required to get ready to fight the possible outbreak of flu in the coming months.

Children and senior citizens should take vaccines against flu to prevent themselves from contracting infectious diseases in the near future, the official said.

Meanwhile, local residents should pay more attention to their personal hygiene, frequently washing their hands and wearing masks while visiting their relatives and friends who have been in the ward for treatment.

And Guangdong refused to panic after Hong Kong witnessed a minor outbreak of flu and Japanese encephalitis.

Business at local supermarkets, department stores, cinemas, theaters, and bars have been as brisk as usual.

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