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Infectious Diseases Claim 949 Lives in September

China's Ministry of Health on Friday reported 949 deaths from infectious diseases nationwide last month, including a Tibetan couple killed by plague.

The figure was slightly down from 1,023 in August, and no serious outbreak was reported in areas hit by the May 12 earthquake, the ministry said.

In September, more than 340,000 cases of A and B class infectious diseases occurred and claimed 939 lives. Of the 120,000 cases of C class infectious diseases recorded, 10 were fatal.

The public health department of Tibet Autonomous Region sent disease-control experts to Nyingchi Prefecture in September after a local couple died of plague. No new cases had been reported, the ministry said.

Plague and cholera are categorized as A class infectious diseases, the most serious, in accordance with China's Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.

B class infectious diseases include 25 diseases such as viral hepatitis and C class infectious diseases include 10 diseases such as influenza.

Except for SARS, poliomyelitis, bird flu and diphtheria, the remaining 23 diseases in the A and B class lists had reported cases.

The top five infectious diseases, accounting for 89.28 percent of the total cases of A and B class diseases, were tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diarrhea, syphilis and gonorrhea.

The top five killers, accounting for 93.72 percent of the total lives claimed by A and B class diseases, were AIDS, rabies, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis.

(Xinhua News Agency October 12, 2008)

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