Beijing: Tens of millions of people could
be infected with swine flu in China in the coming months, a
health ministry official said on Friday, adding that fatalities
would be "unavoidable".
"According to expert estimates, our nation during the
autumn season might have several tens of millions infected
with A(H1N1)," Liang Wannian, deputy director of the
ministry`s health emergency office, told a press conference.
Liang said of that total, "half of them could experience
clinical symptoms, several millions will seek medical help,
and serious cases and fatalities will be unavoidable."
The spread of A(H1N1) influenza in China has gathered
pace as the autumn months approach, Liang said, with over half
of the nation`s nearly 7,000 cases detected between August 24
and September 10.
Of those cases, nearly 95 per cent were contracted within
China, whereas the vast majority of cases reported from June
to August originated abroad, he said.
"The situation we face is not optimistic," Liang said,
noting that the virus had been found in all of China`s 31
provinces and regions.
"We are facing severe challenges in our prevention and
China has so far reported no swine flu deaths.