Beijing swine flu students released21st July 2009
Authorities in Beijing have released group of schoolchildren from the United Kingdom held under quarantine after some of their group caught swine flu.
The first batch of 20 pupils and teachers were allowed to leave the Yanxiang Hotel where they were held.
Chinese officials wanted to observe them for signs of the disease after some of the group, which was on a tour of China, fell ill with the H1N1 virus.
They will continue their trip from another hotel in Beijing.
Teachers and pupils alike were glad to be free of the restrictions, and said they would continue their trip as planned.
A further 80 pupils and teachers from British schools are still in the Yanxiang Hotel, together with some from the United States.
Chinese health officials said nine British pupils had so far been diagnosed with swine flu in China, although none of them is believed to be seriously ill.
Nine teenagers from the US are also receiving hospital treatment for swine flu.
Hundreds of foreign visitors to China have been quarantined by health authorities after showing symptoms of swine flu.
The British group was on a two-week cultural exchange trip organised by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the British Council and Chinese organisation Hanban.
While H1N1 swine flu mounts a more sustained attack on the respiratory system than the standard seasonal virus, making it more likely to cause pneumonia, the virus still mostly produces mild symptoms in the majority of cases.
Swine flu is thought to have infected more than a million people worldwide, and to have killed at least 500.
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