"The infected are on Tamiflu medication. They are in a stable condition and recuperating at a local hospital," the official surnamed Hu told China Daily on the phone.
He added that the quarantine on the remaining 35, including 29 students and six faculty members of the same US school, will be lifted today. The group was quarantined on June 11, when some members showed flu-like symptoms, such as stomach upset and sore throat, during a visit to the Three Gorges Dam, a signature tourist attraction in the city, a local newspaper reported Wednesday.
Thirty-five high school students and teachers from the United States under quarantine for possible A(H1N1) flu infection in Yichang city, Hubei province, are healthy and will be released Thursday, local authorities said.
Six students, aged between 14 and 16, and a faculty member of California's Carlsbad's Pacific Ridge private school, who were part of a 42-member group on an educational tour to China, were confirmed to be infected with the pandemic virus, a senior official of the Yichang Health Bureau said.
The group's 13-day tour to China began on June 2.
Eileen Mullady, head of the school, was quoted by the US-based North County Times as saying that the quarantined students and teachers were "treated well and are in good spirits".
After the first case of the A(H1N1) flu virus was confirmed on the mainland last month, China has quarantined hundreds of Chinese as well as foreigners in a bid to prevent the infection, recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), from spreading further.
According to the country's policy, everyone, under quarantine regardless of nationality or social standing, is treated equally, Mao Qun'an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said.
Zeng Guang, a senior epidemiologist at the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called on the general public, "especially the media", to show more sympathy and respect to people infected with virus, which has infected more than 20,000 people in 66 countries since its outbreak in Mexico in April.
"Many of them were unaware they were infected with the virus and continued to commute via public transport, thereby infecting others," Zeng said.
However, people with flu-like symptoms should have followed the non-binding self-quarantine request by the government, he added .
The MOH Wednesday issued a special guideline for community-level A(H1N1) flu outbreak prevention and control, as the country confirmed 237 infections on the mainland.
The guideline states that establishments such as schools, construction sites and entertainment venues will be shut down in community areas where flu cases emerge.
Psychological intervention would also be provided to "prevent or reduce potential public scare and negative mental impact".