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AIDS Now Third Most Deadly Disease in China

AIDS overtook hepatitis B to become the third-deadliest infectious disease last year, said China's Ministry of Health in a report released on Monday.

A total of 4.42 million cases of infectious diseases were reported and 13,263 people died last year, increases of 12.7 percent and 81.92 percent from 2004 respectively.

Tuberculosis, hepatitis B, dysentery, gonorrhea and syphilis were the top five most common infectious diseases, accounting for 85.66 percent of the total cases, it said.

Tuberculosis, rabies, AIDS, hepatitis B and tetanus in newborns were the top five killers, accounting for 89.4 percent of the total cases.

There were no reports in the number of new cases and deaths of contagious Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), poliomyelitis and diphtheria.

Cases caused by infectious respiratory diseases rose by 31.7 percent last year. Among them, cases of measles and tuberculosis jumped by 73.52 percent and 29.03 percent respectively.

Infectious diseases in China are classified into three categories and 37 types according to the country's newly-revised laws on prevention and control of communicable diseases, which took effect on December 1, 2004.

(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2006)

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