Home / Government / Central Government News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Control of Encephalitis B Must Be Stepped Up
Adjust font size:

The Chinese Ministry of Health has urged that measures to prevent and control encephalitis B be stepped up all over the country, after an outbreak in a northern city killed 19.

The ministry instructed local health authorities to eradicate mosquitoes and raise public awareness about prevention.

Places where livestock are kept must undergo strict mosquito controls to cut off infection channels. People should avoid staying overnight in the open air in places where mosquitoes gather and take protective measures like using window screens and mosquito repellent.

People who develop symptoms of fever, headache, vomiting and sleepiness after being bitten by mosquitoes must go to hospital as soon as possible, said the ministry.

It said that vaccination is critical to controlling encephalitis B. Provinces must step up child vaccination and provinces where outbreaks have been reported must carry out emergency vaccinations.

It also required timely reporting of suspected or confirmed encephalitis B cases and urged that epidemiological research be carried out in outbreak-hit areas.

Surveillance and early warning measures for the disease must be properly carried out, it added.

Health authorities at all levels are responsible for supervising the control of encephalitis B and ensuring that all necessary measures are correctly implemented, according to the ministry.

Encephalitis B causes an inflammation of the brain and can be contracted by people of all ages. It is usually the result of a viral infection transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The illness begins with flu-like symptoms and severe headaches.

An outbreak of encephalitis B in Yuncheng City in north China's Shanxi Province had infected 65 people as of Monday, of whom 19 have died.

Effective measures have been taken to curb the spread of the disease since the first case was reported on July 13, according to local health authorities.

People were told how to protect themselves, the environment was cleaned up and vaccination enhanced in the affected and nearby areas, Zhou added.

These efforts have paid off and the outbreak is now under control, the official said.

Nine out of 13 counties of the city, which has a population of 5 million, have reported cases of encephalitis B, said the local disease control center.

Many people who have fallen ill come from the rural areas of Yuncheng and live on flood plains of the Yellow River, where there is poor sanitation and good breeding conditions for mosquitoes, Zhou said.

Yuncheng reported about 30 cases of encephalitis B in 2005. The number of encephalitis B cases in Yuncheng accounts for over 50 percent of the total in Shanxi Province every year.

Last month, the ministry received 2,314 reports of new encephalitis B cases, up 43.73 percent on the same period last year. It also recorded 78 deaths from the disease, down 6.02 percent year-on-year.

The ministry noted it was peak season for encephalitis B and called for local authorities to do more to prevent its spread.

China saw two big outbreaks of encephalitis B in the 1960s and 1970s, prompting a nationwide vaccination campaign.

However, over the last couple of years, encephalitis B has been on the resurge, with China reporting between 5,000 and 10,000 cases a year. Some local areas have been ravaged by severe outbreaks.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Shanxi Reports 65 Encephalitis B Cases
Infectious Disease Outbreaks Reported
Encephalitis B Outbreak Under Control in Shanxi
17 Die of Encephalitis in Shanxi
MOH Urges Timely Reporting of Diseases
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号