China

No epidemic outbreak reported in NE China's flood-hit township

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NING'AN, Heilongjiang, Jun 14, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Heilongjiang Provincial Health Bureau announced on Tuesday that there is no epidemic outbreak in Shalan Township, Ning'an City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, following the mountain torrent last Friday killing 99 people.

The conclusion was reached based on the investigations by 21 groups, consisting of 195 disease control and medical workers, who on Tuesday went from door to door in Shalan Township, visiting 800 households with 4,000 people, said a spokesman with the bureau.

The provincial health bureau started up its public health emergency response system and adopted measures to prevent an epidemic outbreak in the flood-stricken township shortly after the disaster occurred.

A special detachment was sent to Shalan Township to organize medical care and disease prevention efforts. In the meantime, public health departments at all levels worked together and drafted details of countermeasures regarding epidemic control in relief operation.

The epidemic in the township is closely monitored through a 24- hour duty system and on-line reporting, and each patient seeking medical treatment was requested to be registered.

The 21 groups instructed local villagers about how to sterilize drinking water, disinfect flooded places of residence, and educated them in health knowledge on the spot.

Two sources of drinking water that were polluted in the flooding have been disinfected. Water supply with the two sources will have resumed by Wednesday.

The spokesman added that inoculation would be carried out to prevent an outbreak of epidemic diseases such hepatis A, apart from more investigations about the matter in the flood-hit township.