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Pig disease found in five more cities
By Bao Daozu (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-30 07:14

The deadly Streptococcus suis disease was found in five more cities across Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Friday.

Health Minister Gao Qiang has insisted an outbreak of a mysterious pig-borne disease is 'under control' despite a rising death toll and number of cases. [AFP]
Also on Friday, one more person was killed by the bacteria, which is carried by pigs, bringing the total death toll to 32.

The five new sites where infections have been found are: provincial capital Chengdu, Zigong, Suining, Luzhou, and Mianyang. Twenty-five cases were identified in the five cities in the past three days.

Since the outbreak started on June 24, official reports have previously only identified Ziyang and Neijiang as the affected places.

The Ministry of Health said the new cases were discovered as a result of the local health authorities' strengthened publicity efforts and were not necessarily new infections.

Chen Nenggang, deputy mayor of Ziyang, said the city has issued more than 2 million posters urging farmers not to slaughter or eat sick pigs.

By noon on Friday, 163 confirmed human cases of the disease in Sichuan had resulted in 32 deaths, 24 patients were in a serious condition.

Thanks to increased publicity, most farmers are aware of the grave consequences of butchering or eating dead or sick pigs, said Li Jing, chief of the publicity department of the Ziyang Party committee.
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