China's H1N1 cases will double to 10,000 soon, says expert

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Beijing, Sep. 7 (ANI): With the surfacing of 100 new H1N1 cases since Friday, Chinese health experts have warned that the total cases nationwide will soon double to 10,000, as the peak of the outbreak has begun.

"The recent clusters of school outbreaks are just the start of the peak season, which will feature widespread infections.

"The virus will definitely sicken more people, with new infections rising more quickly than before, though no mutations have so far been detected. The total cases nationwide will soon double to 10,000," Xinhua quoted Zeng Guang, a senior epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as saying.

The mass outbreak among mainly students has lead to the closure of more than 20 schools from Guangxi Zhuang to Ningxia Hui autonomous region, just one week after the start of the new school term.

According to Chinese Health Ministry, 4,415 cases were reported and 3,577 people have recovered by Friday.

The Ministry of Health is expected to release its inoculation plan around Sept 15, when the first 7.3 million doses of the vaccine will be ready, Zeng said.

The domestically-developed vaccine, which can protect people aged three and above, will not be sold to the general public, but is to be reserved by the State.

Health Minister Chen Zhu has said the government will prepare 65 million doses by the year's end.

There are 10 designated companies in China producing the vaccines.

Vivian Tan, press officer of the World Health Organization (WHO) Beijing Office, said just 5 percent of the county would not be sufficient.

"The vaccine is a critical new tool in preventing the spread of H1N1. But realistically, the supply - 5 percent or otherwise - will not be able to match the demand in the initial months. Thus there is a need to identify priority groups for vaccination," she said. (ANI)

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