China Warns of Holiday Swine Flu Spike བོད་སྐད།

China's Health Ministry has warned that H1N1 influenza or swine flu could peak in the country over the next several months, especially as hundreds of millions of people return home for the traditional Chinese New Year.

A ministry statement released Friday said that large numbers of travelers during the Lunar New Year period in late January and February may hamper efforts to control the spread of the flu.

The statement said that China's peak flu season, which could last from December until March, would be a critical period for control and prevention.

Officials say the most effective way to control the spread of the flu is through vaccines. China says it plans to vaccinate 65 million people before the end of the year. Since September, China has vaccinated more than 30 million people.

China's health ministry says the country's total number of swine flu cases surpassed 100,000 earlier this week, while the total number of deaths has climbed to 325.

The figures are much lower than those reported in the United States, where swine flu has sickened about 50 million Americans and killed about 10,000, according to new estimates released by federal health officials on Thursday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.