Thursday, September 11, 2008

Public health incidents claim 34 lives in August

Emergent public health incidents killed 34 people on the Chinese mainland in August with 82 incidents recorded and 1,551 people involved, the country's Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

Emergent public health incidents refers to major epidemics, diseases of unknown origin, major food or occupational poisoning cases, and other incidents like bird flu.

The number of such incidents dropped by 28.07 percent compared with that of July, while the people affected and the fatalities down 43.85 percent and 10.53 percent respectively, the ministry said in a report posted on its website.

Year on year, the figures of fatalities caused by emergent public health incidents dropped by 37.04 percent. The number of such incidents and people involved also dropped by 38.81 percent and 79.73 percent respectively.

The Health Ministry attributed the big drop to "a series of disease prevention work carried out across the country ahead of the Beijing Olympics," it said in the report.

The two-month summer vacation at schools across the country through August also contributed to the drop, the ministry said.

The ministry warned that public health incidents such as cholera, intestinal infectious diseases and food poisoning still have a relatively high incidence rate in September.


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