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Capital Orders Checkups for Influenza Symptoms
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Beijing has entered a high season for influenza and epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, the Beijing News reported Tuesday, citing local health authorities.

Spring itself is a season with a high incidence of influenza, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, and other respiratory diseases, the paper said.

In addition, it said, the risk of epidemics increased along with a huge flow of population into Beijing that was spurred by migrant workers and students after the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year that fell on January 29.

Before the Spring Festival, Beijing generally reported 1,300 cases of infectious diseases a week; during the week-long vacation of the Spring Festival between January 19 and February 4, the number dropped to 600; and it rebounded to 1,200 after the vacation, statistics with the Beijing Municipal Disease Control Center show.

To prevent the outbreak of such epidemics, the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau will strengthen monitoring of the population working in areas with high risks of bird flu, especially in the trades of slaughtering, processing, transporting of poultry and stocks, and the profession of protecting forests.

Meanwhile, the health authorities have ordered, starting this week, a daily check on students and workers at schools and construction sites, focusing on respiratory diseases, like fever, sore throat, and cough.  

(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2006)

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