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Beijing Opens 37 Mew Rabies Clinics
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Beijing has opened 37 new outpatient clinics to provide rabies vaccination since the beginning of 2007, bringing the total number of the clinics to 82, according to the municipal health bureau.

The clinics, which are also designed to raise public awareness of rabies prevention, are required to be open round the clock and make regular reports to local centers for disease control and prevention, according to the bureau.

Rabies, often spread by dogs, attacks the nervous system and is fatal to humans if not treated prior to the onset of symptoms. It is followed by tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis B and infant tetanus on the list of the most deadly infectious diseases in China

The districts and counties of the Chinese capital are required to set up more clinics to provide inoculations against rabies.

Although no permanent resident of Beijing has contracted rabies in 2006, nine people who contracted rabies in other parts of the country were brought to Beijing for treatment in local hospitals before they died. Another woman living in Beijing, who was not a permanent resident here, contracted rabies from a dog she had brought from outside the city.

The disease killed more than 2,000 people in other parts of the country last year.

Despite the local government's good record of controlling rabies, more than 110,000 Beijing residents have received rabies inoculations to prevent the onset of the disease after they were bitten or scratched by a dog or cat.

Beijing now has more than 550,000 registered dogs, while the actual number is estimated to be over one million.

The municipal government launched a two-month campaign since November last year to check if Beijingers have licenses for their dogs, and to ensure one family has only one dog. Dangerous dogs or dogs taller than 35 cm, such as mastiffs, Dobermans, Saint Bernards and Great Danes, are banned.

(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2007)

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