New Flu Cases Confirmed in China, Hong Kong

HONG KONG -- Health authorities in China and Hong Kong confirmed two new cases of the A/H1N1 virus, both in people arriving on flights from North America.

China's Health Ministry said on its Web site that lab results showed a 19-year-old man, identified by the surname Lü, tested positive for the disease also known as human swine flu after arriving in Beijing from Canada aboard Air Canada flight AC029 on Friday. The ministry didn't say where the man was flying from. Air Canada's Web site shows AC029 originates in Toronto and stops in Vancouver before landing in Beijing.

The patient took a train from Beijing to the eastern city of Jinan, and was taken to an infectious disease hospital by Jinan health authorities, the ministry said. His condition was improving, it said. Authorities were searching for people who might have come into contact with the man.

Mr. Lü is mainland China's second case of A/H1N1. A 30-year-old man who flew to China from the U.S. was confirmed as the first case Monday.

More than 5,700 cases of A/H1N1 influenza have been recorded around the world so far, according to the World Health Organization. While the disease is considered less dangerous than early reports suggested, health officials remain concerned that it could become more lethal over time.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong health officials confirmed the territory's second case of human swine flu. A 24-year-old resident of the territory was hospitalized with mild symptoms of the disease after arriving from San Francisco on a Cathay Pacific flight on May 11, they said.

Thomas Tsang, controller of Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection, and Gabriel Leung, undersecretary for food and health, said officials were looking to contact 51 people who sat within three rows of the sick man on the flight. Officials said 45 of the people had already left Hong Kong.

The remaining six have been contacted and are being quarantined. Quarantine arrangements have also been made for his family. Officials said the victim didn't circulate widely within the community after his arrival in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's previous victim of human swine flu had stayed at a business hotel, prompting the government to impose a controversial quarantine on all staff and residents of the hotel for seven days. That quarantine expired Friday night.


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