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S China's School Lifts Quarantine After Cholera Outbreak

Hainan University in south China's Hainan Province lifted a week-long quarantine on Monday after a cholera outbreak, officials said.

Students returned to classrooms, all five canteens resumed service after disinfections and campus reopened to visitors after no new cases of the infectious disease were reported for eight consecutive days, said the school's publicity official Zhang Jiyou.

The school began to restrict visitors on November 2, after eight students had confirmed cholera cases. Another 23 had suspected cases. Entries and exits were largely banned and the few who were allowed in and out, were strictly registered.

To date, 24 people have been discharged from hospital. The remaining seven are expected to recover soon, said Zhang.

By Monday morning, the other 84 students under observation at the university clinic were allowed to go back to class. They had all been in close contact with cholera patients.

During quarantine, the school authority organized sporting events, artistic performances and offered Internet access for free to ease tension, said Zhang.

Hainan University has more than 30,000 students, including at least 80 from overseas.

Across the island province, 51 cholera cases were confirmed in the outbreak which started October 20. No deaths were reported, said provincial health department chief Bai Zhiqin.

Bai announced on Friday the outbreak had ended, and the island was safe again for tourists.

Experts said floods in early October and the ensuing warm weather made conditions ideal cholera outbreaks, typhoid fever and diarrhea.

Cholera has a short incubation period and at its most acute, it can cause diarrhea that can lead to death by severe dehydration and kidney failure.

(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2008)

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