Swine Flu Quarantines Students in China

21 students are from Montgomery County

The Chinese government has confirmed to NBC News that 21 students from several Montgomery County schools are being quarantined in Beijing after some of the students began showing swine flu symptoms.

The group, including two students from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, arrived in Beijing about a week ago, but upon arrival at the airport one boy was hospitalized with H1N1 symptoms. The rest of the group continued to tour the country, but was eventually ordered to confinement at a language school and then a hotel.

Norine McKee, a 17-year-old incoming senior at Walter Johnson, developed symptoms and was moved to a hospital. She said three members of her group were at one hospital, while four others were taken to a different hospital.

McKee said she hopes to continue her tour after she is discharged, but the group will decide later on whether to continue the trip or extend it. The problem, she said, is that "more and more are getting sick."

The first boy who was hospitalized has since been released.

McKee said she is happy about how she is being taken care of in the hospital, with computers provided though no internet connection. She said "the Chinese are serious about trying to contain the virus."

A student from National Cathedral School, Natalie Chaney, told New Tang Dynasty TV: "I just spoke with some of my friends in the hospital right now. They say that they have been treated very well. They said they received American food. They have a TV. They are allowed to call their friends whenever they want. I just talked on the phone with them this morning. They said they are very comfortable."

After that interview, Chaney found out she tested positive for H1N1 and was going to be transported to a hospital for treatment.

Another group of students from Oregon has also been quarantined in China. They are scheduled to be released from quarantine on Wednesday.

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