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China’s Tough Measures on Flu Appear to Be Effective

Few farmers in this southern Chinese village gave much thought to the swine flu epidemic that had begun spreading rapidly in the United States early this summer until police sealed its 100 residents off from the outside world for about a week. It turned out that a visitor from California had shown symptoms of the swine flu virus, or H1N1, when he arrived for a funeral.

Quarantines and medical detentions are among the aggressive measures that Chinese officials have taken to slow the transmission of H1N1, which quickly spread worldwide after being first diagnosed in North America.

To howls of protest from around the world, China isolated entire planeloads of people entering the country if anyone on the plane exhibited flu-like symptoms. Local authorities canceled school classes at the slightest hint of the disease and ordered students and teachers to stay home. China was virtually alone in taking such harsh measures, which continued throughout most of the summer.
 
 

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