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China Reports 1st Swine Flu Death

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China has reported its first death from the H1N1 influenza, commonly called swine flu.

The official Xinhua news agency says the victim, who died Sunday, was an 18-year-old woman from the Tibetan autonomous region. She had been admitted to a hospital in Lhasa the previous day with coughing, a sore throat and aches.

China's Health Ministry says it is rushing 200,000 doses of vaccine to the region in an effort to contain the virus. China has reported more than 21,000 cases of swine flu across the country, with 13 people in serious condition.

China began mass vaccinations against swine flu last month. The Health Ministry says it plans to inoculate 65 million people, or about five percent of China's population, by the end of this year.

The World Health Organization has declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic, meaning it is widespread. The agency says more than 4,000 deaths related to the virus have been reported worldwide, and as many as two billion people may eventually be infected.

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