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Two Die of Plague in Tibet, Epidemic Under Control

Two people died of plague and three others who were infected with the epidemic are recovering in the Tibet Autonomous Region, southwest China, the information office of the regional government reported Saturday.


The epidemic was spotted in Zhongba, a county in Xigaze Prefecture that borders Nepal, and it was under control, the office said.


The Ministry of Public Health reported the epidemic situation to the World Health Organization and Nepal early Saturday morning.


Nine paviors in Qiongguo Township, who had come from Mianyang City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, ate marmot meat on June 11, and five of them later felt sick.


They went to the county hospital a few days later. One of them died on June 15, and another died on June 17. The other three are still in hospital, but are recovering, Adain, head of the regional public health department, said.


The autonomous regional public health department dispatched a 10-member task force to deal with the situation upon receiving report of the epidemic on June 17.


Experts sent by the Ministry of Public Health arrived Xigaze on June 20.


The work team traced 76 direct contacts, and 75 of them are now under quarantine and show no abnormal syndromes. The other one, a woman, went to Nepal through the border trade market on June 21 and police in Zhongba are now searching for her around the market area.


There was no report of new cases by 11:00 AM Saturday, and quarantine will continue another 15 days, Adain said.


(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2005)

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