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Travelers under city quarantine in good health

Sixteen international travelers who landed in Shanghai with a fever or were sitting close to those with a temperature remained under quarantine while health officials checked them for the swine flu virus, a city government spokesman said yesterday.


None of the 11 Chinese and five expatriates were suffering any other flu symptoms late yesterday. They can be held up to seven days, but those whose tests rule out the H1N1 virus will be released sooner.


Among the group are passengers from an undisclosed number of flights from countries including England, Germany and Japan. All passengers found by airport temperature checks to be running a fever are sent to designated hospitals for diagnosis and treatment, and people who were sitting near them on the flights are quarantined.


So far, there have been no confirmed or even suspicious cases of swine flu in Shanghai, according to government spokesman Chen Qiwei.


Also yesterday, health authorities in Shanghai and Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces signed an agreement to streamline procedures for the prevention and control of infectious diseases in the Yangtze River Delta region. The heightened coordination was prompted by the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, which is expected to attract 70 million visitors.


"Previously, each province gave epidemic reports only to the Ministry of Health," said Song Guofan of the Shanghai Health Bureau. "Instantaneous information sharing between neighboring provinces will allow faster reaction for infectious disease control. Such cooperation is new in China." The agreement also calls for regular meetings and cooperative measures on infectious disease control and communications.


At the national level, the Ministry of Health said yesterday it will add another 119 sites to the nation\'s flu monitoring laboratory network and 167 more frontline flu monitoring hospitals, including 13 hospitals in Shanghai.


(Shanghai Daily May 22, 2009)