China reports second swine flu death

October 17, 2009 12:00 am

, BEIJING, Oct 17 – China has reported its second swine flu death after a patient in the northwestern province of Qinghai died of the disease.

The health ministry gave no details on the patient in a brief statement posted on its website late Friday.

But the official Xinhua news agency quoted local health authorities as saying the patient was a 43-year-old woman.

China has confirmed a total of 26,348 cases since the (A)H1N1 virus first emerged, including 13 people who remained in serious condition, the ministry said in the statement.

China reported its first swine flu death on October 6, after a patient in Tibet succumbed to the virus.

The government immediately sent 200,000 doses of A(H1N1) vaccine to the Himalayan region, but the ministry statement on Friday did not mention similar plans for Qinghai.

China has vaccinated more than 300,000 people against swine flu, the health ministry said a week ago, but warned the nation was facing a "grim" task of preventing outbreaks and keeping the number of deaths in check.

The ministry said last month that "tens of millions" of people in the world’s most populous country could get the virus in the coming months, adding that fatalities would be "unavoidable".


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