06/11/2009, 00.00
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Swine Flu: Hong Kong closes all primary schools and nurseries

Eleven children are infected and in hospital. Fears of a repeat of the SARS outbreak. In China 111 people are infected. The epidemic has spread to 74 countries and has infected a total of 27737 people. The World Health Organisation gears up to declare a maximum state of emergency for a pandemic.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The territorial government announced today the closure of all primary schools and nurseries for two weeks after the flu infected 11 children, who are now in hospital,  from the St Paul Convent. The virus was first transmitted locally by a 55 year old man, while a 16 year old girl from St Paul’s caught the flu and subsequently also her brother.

People in Hong King are worried that the swine flu virus will have a similar effect to SARS, the 2003 epidemic that brought life in the territory to a standstill for months, and led to the death of 300 people.

The World Health Organisation announced recently that it is gearing up to declare a state of global pandemic, raising its alert level to its maximum.  That means that a step up in vaccine production and antivirus stock piling.

La test data puts the number of those infected by Swine Flu worldwide at 27.737 across 74 nations, with 141 deaths.  Most of those (100) died in Mexico.  The majority of cases are concentrated in North America, but a growing number of cases in Europe and Australia have been reported in the past few days.

China has declared that the epidemic is under control.  So far there have been 111 cases.  Other Asian nations hit by the outbreak include South Korea with 50 cases and Vietnam with 20.

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See also
WHO warning: swine flu "explosion", governments ready to intervene
WHO: almost one thousand new cases of swine flu a day
Majority of Chinese refuse vaccine against swine flu
Swine Flu: Schools closed in Sri Lanka, doubts about the real number of deaths in China
Swine flu: 8829 cases, 76 victims. South Korean scientists announce a vaccine


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