China: 16 Heilongjiang Schools Closed Due to H1N1
An outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus has caused 16 schools to close in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang. Health authorities there say with the arrival of fall and winter, there is a chance the situation could become much worse.
September marked the beginning of the new school year in China, and with it came a new wave of the H1N1 flu virus cases.
The outbreak of H1N1 has hit some schools hard. In Harbin, Heilongjiang’s capital city, there were 462 cases of the virus as of September 24, according to state-run media. And nearly all the victims were students.
As a result, just weeks after the school year began, 16 schools in Heilongjiang have been closed. One student from the Harbin Institute of Technology tells us that hundreds of students have been placed under quarantine.
[Mr. Chen, Harbin Institute of Technology Student]:
“There are a lot of schools here that are close to an outbreak. The schools have been shut down and classes cancelled. A few days ago, there were 20 new cases in my school in just one day. Hundreds have been quarantined.”
Around China, the latest wave of H1N1 cases has hit more than 30 provinces.
According to Chinese state-run media, Heilongjiang health authorities face a daunting task of prevention and control—as the arrival of fall and winter could mean an even bigger outbreak.