The educational department in Bobai County, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, stripped a headmaster off post on Thursday due to a recent large outbreak of hepatitis A in his middle school.
The headmaster, whose name was not disclosed by the regional government, was punished due to "violating laws on epidemic prevention and control and food sanitation," said the health department of the autonomous region.
His duty dereliction caused 71 students from Fengshan Town No. 2 Middle School the county to contract hepatitis A, said an investigation team of the department.
The first hepatitis A case was found on November 23 in the school. But no effective measures had been taken immediately and the school saw an outbreak on December 6.
The investigation team said contaminated drinking water is the main cause of the outbreak.
They also found the canteen of the middle school did not have any authorized food making and selling permit and the canteen's food processing work failed to meet the national sanitation standards.
As of Thursday, all the 1,438 students and staffers at the school have been inoculated to contain the spread of the disease as the incubation period of the virus lasts 15 to 30 days.
Hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, is caused by infectious or toxic agents and characterized by jaundice, fever, liver enlargement, and abdominal pain.
(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2006)