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Lhasa Fears Swine Flu, China officials decline to give infection figures

Posted by Author on October 17, 2009

Radio Free Asia, Oct. 16, 2009-

HONG KONG—Residents of the Tibetan capital Lhasa say they fear a spike in infections with H1N1 influenza, while Chinese officials decline to give infection figures.

“This disease has become very serious. Most of the victims are students,” said one Tibetan man living in Lhasa.

“The leadership seems to have been more engrossed in celebrations of the 60th anniversary, and they seem to be underplaying the seriousness of the epidemic,” he said, referring to nationwide celebrations of Communist Party rule on Oct. 1.

China announced its first swine flu death in the Tibetan region last week.

The victim was an 18 year-old Tibetan woman who had been hospitalized in Lhasa the week before with severe symptoms.

Officials have sent 200,000 doses of influenza A (H1N1) vaccine to the region since, according to a statement on the Health Ministry’s Web site.

No outreach

But residents say that so far there have been no Tibetan-language programs on radio or television to educate the population on how to prevent swine flu, which was declared a pandemic in June.

Another Tibetan man said that the local swine flu infection rate is considered “very high” by Lhasa residents.

“The number of people arriving on trains from different parts of China is increasing, and there are huge concentrations of people at railway stations and other places where people gather. The chance of getting infected is extremely high,” he said.

“It is very serious in the Lhasa area, but the authorities are trying to underplay the spread of this disease.”…… (more details from Radio Free Asia)

One Response to “Lhasa Fears Swine Flu, China officials decline to give infection figures”

  1. denparser said

    OMG! swine flu still exist? how could we stop it and prevent not to be infected by it? darn! this virus really fears people.

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