H1N1 flu virus spreads into Asia.
5/2/2009 3:28:52 AM
South Korea has confirmed the country's first case of the H1N1 flu, making it the second Asian nation Noun 1. Asian nation - any one of the nations occupying the Asian continent
country, land, state - the territory occupied by a nation; "he returned to the land of his birth"; "he visited several European countries" to report an outbreak of the potentially fatal virus.
A 51-year-old woman has been in quarantine since returning from Mexico, Lee Jong-koo, chief of the state disease control centre, told a news conference on Saturday.
Seoul's confirmation came as China quarantined hundreds of people in a Hong Kong hotel Hong Kong Hotel was the Colony's first five-star hotel in Hong Kong. It was opened on the waterfront of Victoria Harbour, Central, Hong Kong. Competing in all respects with the owners of The Star Ferry Company, who owned the Peak Hotel, The, the management provided a special launch and cancelled all flights between the city of Shanghai and Mexico.
A traveller who arrived in Hong Kong Hong Kong (hŏng kŏng), Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov. from Mexico via Shanghai has tested positive for H1N1 strain of the influenza virus influenza virus
Any of three viruses of the genus Influenzavirus designated type A, type B, and type C, that cause influenza and influenzalike infections. .
All of the 176 passengers and 13 crew from the Mexicana airlines flight which brought the traveller to Shanghai will also be placed under "seven-day medical observation", China's health ministry said.
It called on all passengers from that flight and another which took the Mexican patient from Shanghai, to Hong Kong to get in touch with the health authorities "to ensure that all passengers can get timely medical tests".
Health workers in white bodysuits patrolled the lobby of Metropark Hotel in Hong Kong on Saturday as guests picked up bottles of water, chocolate milk and bread before returning to their rooms.
Police officers wearing masks guarded the building, which was cordoned off with police tape.
A Hong Kong-based infectious diseases infectious diseases: see communicable diseases. specialist criticised the quarantine as an over-reaction and said it served little practical purpose.
"This is only one point in his journey. And it's not the highest risk point in his journey. Flu spreads through coughs or sneezes at close range. People who lived above and below him are nearly not at risk at all," Lo Wing-lok said.
But Donald Tsang Sir Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen, GBM, KBE, JP (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Pinyin: Zēng Yìnquán , Hong Kong's leader, defended the decision in light of the Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Definition
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is the first emergent and highly transmissible viral disease to appear during the twenty-first century. ) outbreak in 2003, which killed nearly 300 people in the territory.
"I'd rather err on the side of caution than miss the opportunity to contain the disease," he said.
India was also monitoring two patients suspected of having contracted H1N1 after arriving from abroad, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
"Both of them are under observation in an isolation ward. We have done all the tests, and samples have been sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases communicable diseases, illnesses caused by microorganisms and transmitted from an infected person or animal to another person or animal. Some diseases are passed on by direct or indirect contact with infected persons or with their excretions. ," NK Chaturvedi, medical superintendent of the state-run Ram Manohar Lohia hospital Formerly known as Willingdon Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital is a 984 bed health care facility in New Delhi that caters primarily to Indian politicians and bureaucrats. , said.
If confirmed, the cases would be the first in the country of 1.1 billion people, raising fears that it could spread across the densely populated country.
The virus is confirmed to have killed at least 16 people in Mexico, but officials estimate that as many as 101 people have died.
Tests are still being carried out on the other 85 dead.
On Friday, Mexico began a five-day shutdown of all but essential government services and private businesses in an attempt to halt the spread of the flu, but officials have suggested that the H1N1 outbreak may not be as severe as first feared.
"This isn't to say we are lowering our guard or we think we no longer have problems," Marcelo Ebrard Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón (b. October 10, 1959 in Mexico City) is a Mexican politician affiliated to the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) who served as general secretary of the former Mexican Federal District Department, secretary of public security and secretary of , the mayor of Mexico City Mexico City
Spanish Ciudad de México
City (pop., 2000: city, 8,605,239; 2003 metro. area est., 18,660,000), capital of Mexico. Located at an elevation of 7,350 ft (2,240 m), it is officially coterminous with the Federal District, which occupies 571 sq mi , said on Friday after the first night in a week without any deaths.
"But we're moving in the right direction."
Jose Angel Cordova Cordova, Spain: see Córdoba. , Mexico's health minister, said that officials now believed there had been 397 cases of the disease confirmed so far, of which 381 sufferers had either fully recovered or were being treated.
'Running its course'
Barack Obama, the US president, voiced hope that the virus may turn out to be no more harmful than the average seasonal flu.
"It may turn out that H1N1 runs its course like ordinary flus, in which case we will have prepared and we won't need all these preparations," he said.
Obama stressed that the government was still taking the outbreak, which has killed at least one person and affected at least 154 others in the US, very seriously.
Ireland confirmed the first case of H1N1 on Saturday.
Ireland's Department of Health said that the patient had traveled to Mexico recently and was now recovering.
There are 15 confirmed cases of the virus in neighbouring Britain.
British officials said that two of the 15 total patients being treated for H1N1 were infected by human-to-human transmission rather than having become infected in Mexico.
Germany and Spain have also reported such cases.
Italy was the latest European country to confirm a case of the virus, but a regional health official said that the man was already completely recovered.
Nancy Cox, influenza chief at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said that it was positive that the genetic makeup of the virus did not show specific traits of the flu pandemic pandemic /pan·dem·ic/ (pan-dem´ik)
1. a widespread epidemic of a disease.
2. widely epidemic.
Epidemic over a wide geographic area.
n. virus which killed up to 50 million people worldwide in 1918.
"However, we know that there is a great deal that we do not understand about the virulence of the 1918 virus or other influenza viruses," she told The Associated Press news agency.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that tests had shown that the vaccine against seasonal flu would have little effect against the new H1N1 strain.
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