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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 13:14 UK

Ninth UK pupil in China 'has flu'

Four British pupils in Beijing hotel
Some of the British teenagers holed up in a hotel room in Beijing

A ninth British school pupil has been diagnosed with swine flu in Beijing, according to Chinese health officials.

The British Embassy in Beijing says it is still trying to confirm the report.

Nine US teenagers are also being treated in hospital after contracting the virus. None of the children is thought to be seriously ill.

More than 100 other pupils and teachers are quarantined at a hotel in Beijing. All of them were taking part in a two-week cultural exchange visit to China.

More than 600 Britons are on the trip, organised by the SSAT, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the British Council and Chinese organisation Hanban.

SWINE FLU IN CHINA
Population - 1.34 billion
Swine flu cases - 1,537
Swine flu fatalities - none

Three British pupils were found to have high temperatures when they arrived at Beijing's airport last week. The others developed symptoms of the H1N1 virus while in quarantine at the Yanxiang Hotel.

Seven of the teenagers being treated are known to be from London and one is from Somerset.

Four are from Parliament Hill School, Camden, three from the Central Foundation Boys School, Clerkenwell, and one is from Clevedon School, Somerset.

British officials say about 50 of those in quarantine are from the UK.

Others who were not in close contact with those who have fallen ill are continuing their study trip to other provinces.

Chinese health worker tests flight from London  9.7.09
Chinese health officials monitor passengers arriving in the country

China has this year quarantined hundreds of foreign visitors who have shown symptoms of swine flu.

On Friday, the country's Health Ministry said that 1,537 cases of swine flu had been reported in a population of 1.34 billion. None have been fatal.

In the UK, 29 people have now died after contracting swine flu - 26 in England and three in Scotland.

The government will outline plans later for a national flu advice service aimed at easing the pressure on frontline NHS staff.

Health officials also hope the internet and telephone service will help clear up confusion about guidance for pregnant women.

The NHS UK website suggests expectant mothers should avoid crowds where possible, but a statement from officials on Sunday night said although this could be considered, it was important to carry on with daily routine.


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