400 Henan province students hospitalized with unknown flu

Here we go again? It sounds horrible, though not fatal.

Over 400 students at a university in central China’s Henan province were hospitalized with high fevers linked to an unknown flu virus, state press and a school official have said.

The outbreak began on March 26 when 22 students were hospitalized with high fevers, Xinhua news agency said.
The next day the number of sick students at the Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang city rose to 88, and on March 28 there were 208 sick students in the university’s infirmary, it said.

“There were over 400 students that became feverish with the flu,” a university official who declined to be named told AFP when contacted by phone. He refused to detail what type of flu it was or how the outbreak had succeeded in infecting so many students. Local health officials were currently trying to identify the flu strain, Xinhua said.

The temperatures of some of the students reached 39.6 degrees celsius (103.3 degrees Fahrenheit), it said. The sick students were quarantined while school officials, under directions from provincial health authorities, cancelled classes and began disinfecting the university’s 2,000 dormitory rooms, dining halls and classrooms, it said.


The Discussion: 10 Comments

Hmm, you’ll remember from SARS precisely what ‘disinfecting’ means: half the time they were just spraying rooms with water, or burning sweet-smelling herbs around the place. I wonder whether they’re using antiseptics/bleach/soap/anything in Henan.

April 3, 2006 @ 12:37 am | Comment

You make China sound like a 15th century plague hospital.

April 3, 2006 @ 4:49 am | Comment


During the SARS epidemic, in many ways Beijing DID resemble a medieval plague hospital. But I guess you wouldn’t have been there.

By the way the great Plague epidemic was in the 14th century, not the 15th.

April 3, 2006 @ 8:19 am | Comment

I work there. I had it. Best described as a cross between glandular fever and bronchial pneumonia. Described by the nurse at the hospital as “a cold.” I felt bad, very bad. I’m OK now though :o)


April 4, 2006 @ 4:34 am | Comment

Wait!!! You had SARS? or this Henan flu? or what?

April 5, 2006 @ 1:51 am | Comment

Watching this one very closely. One encouraging thing, in fairness, is that it’s getting reported in Chinese media. There haven’t been any stories on it since 4/3 (at least that I’ve seen), but what stories there are have been as detailed as the English one. Journalism, or just an accident?

April 5, 2006 @ 1:56 am | Comment

Only a handful of students remain quarantined. As far as I’m aware, I was the only foreign teacher to pick up the bug. They did, as someone suggested, spray the whole campus with disinfectant (could have been water) last weekend.

The university had the smart idea of arranging extra lessons for the non-afflicted students on Saturday and Sunday in order to relieve their boredom (most of the campus was off-limits and nobody could escape the perimeter).

Only two of my students were still missing yesterday so I would say it was just a nasty strain of flu that’s run its course. Having said that my FAO has nothing to offer when Iask for details.

April 5, 2006 @ 8:20 am | Comment


Please trying to make it seam like I’m talking about something that I’m not. It’s getting irritating.

I didn’t mention the great european plague, only a plague hospital.

You seem to be looking for any possible occasion to put words in my mouth. Please stop.

Frankly, wild horses couldn’t have dragged me into Beijing during SARs. I would have been put under quarentine by my employer if I’d even stepped into the city limits, and my health cover wouldn’t have paid out if I’d gotten sick as it doesn’t cover areas with travel warning against them.

I have a few friends who were quarentined and they said it wasn’t pretty.

Saying this, some of my foreign friends went wild durig SARs, they legged it down to all of the outdoors tourist spots that had been cleared of people by the epedemic and spent most of it enjoying the peace and quiet of normally bustling places that had become ghost towns.

April 5, 2006 @ 9:51 am | Comment

I would be interested to know if you had submitted blood samples to the CDC or WHO to test for antibodies to H5N1 or other flu strains.
Please feel free to e-mail me back. Your situation and information is very interesting as no follow-up information has been reported after the initial internet report.

April 11, 2006 @ 2:26 pm | Comment

sorry, link didn’t post…

April 11, 2006 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

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