Traditional Chinese Medicine Gets Attention in Combating H1N1 Swine Flu in China

Children suffering A(H1N1) influenza could benefit from taking Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Beijing traditional Chinese medicine bureau said.

Tu Zhitao, vice-director of the bureau, claimed that children sickened with the flu should be cured within three days.

“Some children will be cured with only one dose (of No 2 Cold Medicine), while others might need two,” Tu said.
As the number of H1N1 sufferers reached 6,196 in Beijing as of Monday, 20 traditional Chinese medicine hospitals opened 24-hour anti-H1N1 departments.

Tamiflu and Relenza are the two approved antiviral drugs that are available for treatment of H1N1. The World Health Organization recommends that all patients (including pregnant women) and all age groups (including young children and infants) should be treated with Tamiflu in the event of severe or deteriorating illness.

The WHO said it was not familiar with the TCM recommended for children and could not comment.

A woman who didn’t provide her name and was in charge of the health policy division of the bureau, told METRO: “This medicine is very effective. Our director’s son has tried it.”

“Western medicines might harm the stomachs of children. Chinese medicine does not have this side effect. This No 2 cold medicine is an upgrade of former anti-flu medicine,” she added.

Cui Xianyu, director of the Korean International School in Beijing said: “We haven’t heard about No 2 cold medicine but we have faith in Chinese medicine.”

“About one month ago, we provided our students with some Chinese medicine to protect them from H1N1 following a requirement from the municipal education commission. They didn’t suffer from any side effects but we did have to close the school for a week after some students were infected,” Cui said.

An employee of the pediatrics department in Xiyuan Hospital at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences said it would open a special anti-H1N1 department today.

The woman, who also did not want to be named, told METRO: “We haven’t received many patients these days. The No 2 cold medicine is basically the same as the ordinary anti-flu Chinese medicine. You can buy it for around 6 yuan.”

Professor Zhai Huaqiang from the School of Chinese Pharmacy at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine believed Chinese medicine might be a cure for H1N1, but it isn’t suitable for everyone.

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