Two women have died from the H1N1 flu strain in Beijing in the past 10 days, the Chinese state media reported on Sunday.
The two recent cases are the first reported deaths from the virus in Beijing since 2010, according to Reuters.
According to the Beijing News, the number of flu cases in China's capital is at its highest level since 2008.
The article, which was posted on the website of the Beijing Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, said that the H1N1 virus, also called the swine flu, had become the most common strain, according to the center's director Deng Ying.
The first patient who died of the pandemic H1N1 flu virus was a 22-year-old female migrant worker who had developed symptoms on Dec. 25 and died on Dec. 27, and the second patient was a 65-year-old female cancer patient who died on Jan. 4, the Beijing Daily reported, citing the city's health officials.
Health officials were quoted as saying that the public shouldn't worry because the H1N1 virus has become a "seasonal strain" that can be controlled and prevented.
According to Reuters, the rise in flu cases corresponds with weeks of record low temperatures in Beijing and in many parts of China.
H1N1 is a swine flu virus responsible for the epidemic in 2009 that started in the United States and Mexico and quickly spread around the world in just six weeks.
The 2009 pandemic had spread quickly in China, and prompted mass inoculations in the country. The virus had killed an estimated 659 people as of January 2, 2010, Chinese health officials said at the time.
The World Health Organization had initially estimated that the global outbreak in 2009 had claimed around 18,500 lives, but a more recent study published in June 2011 found that the H1N1 swine flu death toll may have been 15 times higher than reported and was likely to have killed between 284,500 and 579,000 people.
Published by Medicaldaily.com