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TB Tops List of China's Killer Infectious Diseases in April

The number of Chinese who died of infectious diseases reached 636 in April, while 30 died of food poisoning, the Ministry of Health announced Wednesday.

The top five killer diseases in April were tuberculosis (TB), hydrophobia, hepatitis B, AIDS and hepatitis C, accounting for 86.86 percent of total fatalities, says the ministry's monthly epidemic report.

TB, hepatitis B, bacterial and amebic dysentery, measles and syphilis accounted for 86.55 percent of incidents of infectious diseases, the report says.

The ministry reported in April that 704 people died of infectious diseases in March, with TB the main killer.

TB consistently tops the list of fatal infectious diseases in official epidemic reports. China has about five million TB patients, 80 percent of whom live in the countryside.

The government has provided free treatment to 2.05 million lung tuberculosis (TB) patients in the past five years and is aiming to treat two million infectious lung TB patients by 2010, halving the death rate from 1990.

The ministry also said 52 incidents of food poisoning occurred in April, affecting 1,293 people, 353 more than the same period last year.

(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2006)

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