Influenza outbreak brought under control
GUANGZHOU: An influenza outbreak that occurred in South China's Guangdong Province has been brought to control, the Guangdong Provincial Health Bureau announced yesterday.
The bureau said none of the 286 people who fell ill in the village of Xuhuang near Leizhou need to be hospitalized and there have been no deaths. All those infected are recovering.
The outbreak spread quickly over a few days because people were gathered together to watch opera performances.
There were only six new cases of illness yesterday, but there is no evidence that they are flu-related.
Feng Jiwei, director of the Leizhou Health Bureau, said its superior department, the Zhanjiang Health Bureau, has delivered 150 kilograms of banlangen, a drug made up of Chinese herbs for curing fever and flu, to the village.
Feng said all patients have received treatment in their village and did not go to hospital. Health departments in Leizhou and other parts of the province sent hundreds of doctors and nurses to Xuhuang.
Guangdong Vice-Governor Lei Yulan ordered health departments to follow closely the development of the outbreak and step up efforts to spread health knowledge.
According to the Guangdong Provincial Health Bureau, the affected people, most of whom are students in elementary and middle schools, had developed a very mild respiratory tract infection. Their symptoms included fever, coughs and myalgia, a kind of muscle pain. Schools involved have been closed.
A local source explained the outbreak occurred because a large number of villagers got together to watch performances of Leizhou Opera. The performances were staged in Xuhuang continuously over 10 days before the outbreak began last Monday.
The virus spread to hundreds of people in just a few days. About 500 people had been infected.
(China Daily 04/27/2005 page3)