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Infectious disease deaths up sharply
By Zhang Feng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-02-12 09:32

Infectious diseases claimed 6,474 lives on the Chinese mainland last year, up nearly a quarter on figures for 2002.

And 173 of the deaths occurred last month, down nearly 18 per cent on the same month in 2003, according to Ministry of Health statistics released Wednesday.

This is the first monthly report on infectious diseases. From now on, the ministry will make public figures on infectious illnesses and related information every month, said ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an.

The service forms part of the national infectious diseases surveillance and reporting system which was set up after the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, Mao said.

Last year, there were about 2.6 million cases of 27 infectious diseases, which must be reported to health authorities.

The hepatitis virus tops the list of the top 10 most common infectious diseases. The others are tuberculosis, amoebic and bacillary dysentery, gonorrhea, measles, syphilis, typhoid fever, malaria, epidemic haemorrhagic fever, and scarlet fever.

Rabies killed 1,980 people last year, becoming the most fatal of the top 10 infectious diseases.

SARS claimed 349 people last year, 30 less than HIV/AIDS.

The infectious diseases that have increased the most over the period are rabies, viral hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and measles.

HIV/AIDS and six other infectious diseases infected more people in January this year than January last year.

In the same month, fewer or no cases of another 19 infectious diseases under legal management were recorded.

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