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Last Updated: Friday August 07 2009 05:00 GMT

Swine flu kept me in China

Press Packer Jess who wasn't allowed to leave her hotel in China because of swine flu

Press Packer Jess was on a school trip to China when some of her friends got swine flu.

She was put in quarantine, which means she wasn't allowed out of her hotel to try to prevent the disease spreading.

Here's her report:


"I was in China for a special school trip with my Mandarin teacher and seven other students from my school and hundreds of kids from other schools the UK and America.

We went there to learn some more of the language and about Chinese cultures and geography.

But a week into the trip two people from my group were not very well and had suspected swine flu.

We all knew some other people on the trip had been taken to hospital with swine flu and others put into quarantine but we didn't think it would happen to us.

Getting tested

When we arrived at the hotel we all had to put on masks and we had our temperatures checked.

And we had to have our throats swabbed to see if we had the swine flu virus.

We were told that we had to stay in the hotel for between four and six days in case we had it too.

It was really sad we had to go into quarantine rather than going to Shandong, the other province we were going visit.

But I also felt really sorry for my friend who had swine flu.

Life in quarantine

Before I went to China I didn't know anyone who had swine flu but I had heard a lot about it on the news.

More about swine flu
Child wearing face mask

It turned out that only one person in my group was confirmed as having swine flu but there were many others on campus who had it as well.

They were all taken to hospital in Beijing but my friend got better and flew home at the same time as us in the end.

Being in quarantine meant we could not leave the hotel.

If we wanted to leave our room we had to wear masks at all times. And we had to have two temperature checks a day - once at 9am and again at 4pm.

When we went to get food we weren't allowed to touch anything - we just pointed at what we wanted and then people at the hotel bagged it up and sealed it for us.

Things to do

Luckily in our rooms we had telephones and we were lent laptops with an internet connection so we had no problem keeping in touch with our families at home.

In the end we were in quarantine for six days.

And even though we couldn't leave the hotel for all that time we did find things to do.

We all played loads of games with the teachers and there was a piano in the lobby that we were allowed to use.

I thought it was a massive adventure really and it bought our whole school group closer together.

Going to China was amazing and even though we missed out on doing some stuff it was still a once in a life time trip that I wouldn't change for the world.

But it was good to get home too!

And now I am still a bit worried about swine flu but I think everyone is."

Jess, 12, Portsmouth, England


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