South China's booming city of Guangzhou reported 3,650 cases of
measles in the first 11 months last year, the highest number of the
same period over the past twenty years, the city's health bureau
The figure was 88 percent higher than that of the same period in
2005, said the bureau.
The measles patients were mostly preschool children, 69 percent
of them under seven, it said, adding the occurrence peak was
between April and August last year.
The city will carry out free vaccinations against measles for
children aged between eight months and 14 years to control its
outbreak, the bureau said.
An acute, contagious viral disease, measles usually occurs in
childhood with symptoms of red spots on the skin and fevers. The
disease can be life-threatening if patients are not treated in
In 2005, China recorded about 130,000 measles cases nationwide.
The incidence rate had decreased by 95 percent since the 1990s
thanks to planned immunizations that started in 1978, with the
lowest figure in 1995 of about five per 100,000, according to
However, since 1995, the incidence of measles has been rising
across the country. The year 2005 saw the highest incidence rate of
10 per 100,000 in a decade. Some provinces were still seeing a high
prevalence last year.
The Chinese government has set a five-year action plan to
(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2007)