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Shanghai Moves to Control Epidemic Meningitis
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Health authorities of each China metropolis Shanghai said they are stepping up efforts to monitor and control the spread of epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, which has its highest incidence between February and May.

The Ministry of Health also released a guideline last week to administrate prevention and treatment of the disease. All regional medical authorities and schools are required to keep a close eye on the disease.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis spreads through saliva and attacks the upper respiratory system and the meninges, especially in children.

About 3,000 cases are reported in the nation every year, killing around 200 people annually. Many survivors suffer from serious brain injuries.

"Local hospitals are required to conduct effective diagnosis and treatment and report the disease. Whenever there is an outbreak, the district and city-based center of disease prevention and control will get involved in inspection and control immediately," said Leng Guangming of the municipality's CDC yesterday.

"The Shanghai Public Health Center, a specific infectious disease hospital, also has a plan to receive and separate patients during an outbreak."

Only about 10 cases of the disease are reported in Shanghai each year, mostly involving migrant children who haven't received vaccinations.

Shanghai began vaccinating local children in the 1960s.

(Shanghai Daily February 7, 2006)

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