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Provinces confronted with encephalitis B
( 2003-06-25 09:28)

South China's Guangdong and Hainan provinces are quick in action to respond to encephalitis B after 19 people have died from the disease.

Guangdong Province yesterday set up a special task force as the province witnessed the deaths of 18 residents from the disease, most of whom are children under 14 years old.

The move came as Guangdong and the island province of Hainan came under attack from the disease over the past week. Hainan reported one death yesterday from its 12 patients.

The Ministry of Health has released an emergency call, urging enhanced preventative measures including inoculation to curb the deadly disease.

Ministry sources said yesterday that it will send investigative teams throughout the country to check up on vaccination work in different regions.

Speaking at a work conference on diseases prevention, Huang Huahua, governor of Guangdong, said yesterday his province had to organize a strong team of medical expert to focus on the treatment and prevention of the disease.

The move aims to avoid or minimize the deaths caused by encephalitis B, which has been detected in many cities in the province which borders Hong Kong and Macao.

Huang urged local public health departments and hospitals to pay special heed in treating the infectious illness and try to save all the encephalitis B patients in the province.

Encephalitis B usually comes to its infectious peak period in Guangdong between May and July.

To prevent encephalitis B from spreading further in the province, the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Health has inoculated more than 100,000 children across the province since the outbreak of the disease earlier this month.

More than 90 per cent of Guangdong's encephalitis B patients are children under 14 years old. Many are children of the migrant labourers.

An official from the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Health said that his bureau would focus on vaccinating the children of migrant workers who have followed their migrant worker parents to Guangdong and organizing more anti-encephalitis B publicity in the following months.

The official believed that encephalitis B had basically been brought under control after great efforts have been made to fight it.

The province had detected a total of 220 encephalitis B patients by yesterday.

The port cities of Maoming and Zhanjiang in the western area of Guangdong Province, have even been hardest hit by the flu-like disease, the official said.


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