A Chinese Health Ministry official has warned that tens of millions of people could be infected with H1N1 influenza in China in the coming months, and that fatalities would be "unavoidable".

The deputy director of the ministry's health emergency office, Liang Wannian, made the comments to reporters Friday.

So far, the world's most populous nation has reported nearly 7,000 cases of the disease and no deaths.

More than half of China's reported cases have been detected since late last month.
Of those cases, nearly 95 percent originated in China, whereas the vast majority of cases reported from June to August originated overseas.
China says it will soon launch a nationwide vaccination program to prevent mass outbreaks of the virus.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.