Worried About Flu, China Confines U.S. Students

A group of 21 students and 3 teachers from Maryland have been quarantined due to a AH1N1 flu scare. Daniel de Vise of the Washington Post reports:

Twenty-one students and three teachers from a Silver Spring private school who flew last week to for a weeklong tour have been confined to their hotel rooms, quarantined for possible exposure to swine flu during their flight from the United States.

The group arrived in Guizhou province in southwestern China on Friday for an “extended study week,” one of several such excursions from the Barrie School, which stresses experiential learning.

Government officials quarantined the students and chaperons at a hotel in the of Kaili because a passenger on the plane was suspected of having swine flu. Students have been permitted to converse through the open doors of their hotel rooms, to write e-mails and to talk on room-to-room telephones, but not to leave.

From Doug Donovan of the New York Times:

Chinese officials have worked hard to make the as pleasant as possible, Mr. Kennedy said, adding that a cultural minister had delivered fruit and flowers and provided a choir to sing to the students. Most people suspected of swine, or H1N1, flu in China are quarantined for two weeks in , he said.

“They’re being as nice as they can be,” Mr. Kennedy said, though he added that the students were “bored and frustrated.”

A spokeswoman for Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, said his office had put Mr. Kennedy in touch earlier this week with State Department officials who were following the case. Mr. Kennedy said it was unclear why the quarantine had continued, even though officials had informed him that the sick passenger did not have swine flu.

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