Public health emergencies claimed 54 lives on the Chinese mainland in August with 130 incidents recorded and 4,929 people involved, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.
The number of incidents rose by 14 percent from the previous month, the cases rose by 35.67 percent, and the death toll rose by 5.88 percent, said the ministry in a report.
Infectious diseases and food poisoning were blamed for the surge, and hepatitis A, bacterial diarrhea, and acute conjunctivitis were the main reported infectious diseases.
Seventy-four teenagers were taken to hospital with food poisoning after eating at a boarding school in North China's Shanxi Province in mid August.
And the latest in a string of food poisoning incidents in schools sent about 90 pupils to hospitals from a boarding school in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
According to the ministry, public health emergencies refer to major epidemics, diseases of unknown origin, major food or occupational poisoning cases, and other incidents which may seriously endanger public health, including SARS and bird flu.