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Public Health Incidents Claim 24 Lives in May

Public health incidents killed 24 people on the Chinese mainland last month with 411 incidents recorded and 19,000 people involved, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

Emergent public health incidents refer to major epidemics, diseases of unknown origin, major food or occupational poisoning cases, and other incidents like bird flu.

The number of such incidents dropped 3.52 percent year-on-year, while the people involved and the fatalities up 26.41 percent and 4.35 percent respectively, the ministry said in a report.

It reported one major incident in May, the outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) in central Anhui Province.

China reported more than 176,000 cases of HFMD last month, with the outbreak peaked on May 14. Anhui had 10,700 cases in May including four deaths, according to the ministry.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)

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