China's Ministry of Health released information Tuesday on current public health emergencies in China, the first time the health watchdog has provided a national summary of this kind of data.
"The release will be made on a regular basis from now on each month," said sources with the Ministry's information office.
Major epidemics, diseases of unknown origin, major food or occupational poisoning cases, and other incidents which may seriously endanger public health, including SARS and bird flu, will be reported, the Ministry said.
The ministry recorded a total of 279 public health emergencies in August, involving 4,128 people and leading to 202 deaths.
Infectious diseases and food poisoning were the top two killers last month, accounting for 74 percent and 21 percent of the total number of cases.
The health roundup release is part of a public health contingency plan. The health ministry has been publishing monthly reports on epidemics since February 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)