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China Sets up Mechanism to Fight Climate-related Health Emergencies
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China's meteorologists and health workers are to cooperate in preventing climate-related public health emergencies such as heat stroke, dehydration and mass carbon monoxide poisoning.


The Ministry of Health and the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) signed an agreement on Wednesday to build a cooperative mechanism to improve the public health system.


Meteorologists will monitor climate changes that could trigger public health emergencies and share the information with health workers and issue public warnings through the media.


Meteorologists and health workers will also study the relationship between climate and outbreaks of diseases such as bird flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


The outbreak of SARS in 2003 revealed holes in the public health system and it was imperative for them to be filled, said Vice Minister of Health Wang Longde.


Climate changes triggered several mass carbon monoxide poisoning incidents in Anhui, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces from Feb. 13 to Feb. 15 this year, leaving 477 ill and 31 dead.


(Xinhua News Agency July 13, 2006)

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