By Erik Crouch
Image via @caledomac http://www.flickr.com/photos/caledomac/8342258610/
Two women in Beijing have died of the H1N1 flu strain, the “swine flu” virus that caused panic throughout the country in 2009 and 2010. Flu cases are currently at their highest levels in five years, partly due to China’s record low temperatures negatively effecting citizens’ resistance to the virus.
The victims include a 65-year-old cancer patient and 22-year-old migrant worker. Both women already had other diseases in addition to the flu, and neither were inoculated with the vaccine. The women’s deaths are hopefully just a statistical fluke and not the resurgence of an H1N1 pandemic. If the virus returns in 2010-type proportions, China is preparing to attack it head-on: drug maker Sinovac Biotech is upping the production of vaccines to fight the strain, and hospitals are consistantly testing for new cases.
Beijing’s second-tier hospitals saw 28,567 flue related patients last week alone, the highest weekly visits since 2008.
Via South China Morning Post