02/14/2006, 00.00
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Deaths from infectious disease up 82 per cent

Many outbreaks of meningitis, cholera, malaria, and measles were reported last year. Bird flu causes concern.

Beijing (AsiaNews/SCMP) – Infectious diseases killed 82 per cent more people on the mainland last year than in 2004, according to government statistics. But beyond the actual numbers, concern is mounting about the spreading of the avian flu and infectious outbreaks in many regions of the country.

Last year various infectious diseases claimed 13,263 lives, compared with 7,248 a year before. An 83 per cent rise in the mortality rate from category A and B infectious diseases was also reported. Among the top killers were tuberculosis, rabies, AIDS, hepatitis B, and neonatal tetanus. These five diseases caused more than 89.4 per cent of the deaths in category A and B infectious diseases.

Altogether the number of reported infectious disease cases rose by 13 per cent to 4.42 million in 2005. The most common ones are tuberculosis, hepatitis B, dysentery, gonorrhoea and syphilis.

However, the mortality rate from category C infectious diseases, which include diseases such as influenza and acute infectious diarrhoea, dropped by 20 per cent.

The Health Ministry said many outbreaks were reported in single areas last year. For example, a meningitis outbreak was seen in Anhui and a measles outbreak in Zhejiang during spring, while cholera was rampant in Fujian and Zhejiang in summer. In summer and autumn there was a Streptococcus suis outbreak in Sichuan, and cases of malaria have persisted in Anhui.

Mainland authorities also reported seven human cases of bird flu in 2005, with five patients dying. These cases were found in six provinces and regions: Anhui, Hunan, Fujian, Liaoning, Guangxi and Jiangxi. Since October 19, 2005 there were 29 outbreaks of avian flu in birds in the country.

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See also
Ho Chi Minh City to slaughter all poultry because of bird flu
Meningitis outbreak, authorities urge calm
Fifth Indonesian dies of bird flu
Avian flu pandemic feared
Avian flu claims more human victims


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