Increase in flu virus attacking nervous system

Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, the largest hospital of its kind in South China, has recorded a marked increase in the cases of the A/H1N1 flu virus attacking the central nervous system of children this year.

The hospital has so far this year treated five children infected with the virus, who then rapidly developed necrotizing encephalopathy, said Xu Yi, deputy director of the department of internal medicine, reports Southern China Metropolis Daily.

While previously A/H1N1 flu affected childrens' lungs, it now attacks their central nervous systems.

The hospital has reported the increase to the local center for disease control and prevention, which is conducting research on the virus.

Spring and winter mark high flu season in most provinces in China, with elderly people, pregnant women, and children being among the groups most prone to infection.

Xu Yi's hospital has reported 300 flu cases in the first week of this year, half the number recorded in the same period last year. Serious child cases however remain high.

Xu recommends vaccination and early anti-virus treatment as key to combating flu.


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