Doctors and grass-roots health organizations in China are required to report epidemics within two hours of their discovery, according to a newly revised regulation released by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The revised regulation states that medical organizations at county level, including private clinics, are responsible for reporting epidemics to the local health department.
The infectious diseases listed in the regulation include SARS, poliomyelitis and human bird flu.
The report must be sent out as quickly as possible, via internet, fax or phone calls. The health department should then send reports to the local governments and higher health departments, the regulation stipulates.
(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2006)