Chinese Mecca-bound pilgrims get swine flu shots

Chinese Mecca-bound pilg

October 27, 2009 08:53

Chinese officials moved to give swine flu vaccinations to thousands of Muslims making a pilgrimage to Mecca in the coming days as health authorities reported the mainland's third death from the illness. China has acted aggressively to detect and contain swine flu cases after being accused of failing to move quickly enough to stop the 2003 outbreak of SARS. Despite earlier measures such as strict quarantines, authorities say the virus is spreading from cities into the countryside. A patient died from swine flu on Sunday in the far western region of Xinjiang, the Health Ministry said Monday in a regular update, without providing details. The previous two deaths also occurred in the west, in Qinghai province and Tibet. The ministry said a total of 35,664 cases of swine flu had been reported on the mainland by Monday, with 2,600 new cases since Friday. It said it was training health workers to respond to the surge in swine flu cases in autumn and the coming winter.

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