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No Major Outbreaks of Epidemics Reported in Quake Zone

There have been no major outbreaks of epidemics and other public health hazards in China's quake zone, the Ministry of Health said Saturday.

The ministry said 34,000 medical workers and disease control staff were working in the quake-stricken areas in southwestern Sichuan Province by Friday evening.

As of 8:00 PM Friday, hospitals in the province had received 116,460 patients including 15,858 severely injured people, according to the Ministry's latest report.

As of 0:00 AM Saturday, the blood stations across the quake zone kept a total of 3.17 million milliliters of blood, which was sufficient for medical use.

The ministry has also sent 3,059 medical workers including 319 professional epidemic control workers to the quake zone by Friday afternoon. A total of 485 ambulances have arrived in the quake zone from outside Sichuan.

Vice-minister of Health Gao Qiang vowed on Thursday to prevent any epidemic outbreak after the disaster and said local governments at all levels in Sichuan have worked out plans for disease prevention.

A system for the monitoring and reporting of epidemics, food poisoning and other public health events on a daily basis has been put into place in the quake zone.

Pamphlets for the guidance of first aid and disease prevention in quake zone were distributed among medical workers.

The standard process of disinfection for food, drinking water and living environment was also listed in the pamphlet, in addition to the proper handling of victims' bodies and the prevention of mosquito and flies.

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2008)

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