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Infectious diseases claim 741 lives in September
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Infectious diseases claimed 741 lives in China in September with nearly 486,000 cases recorded, including the first case of bubonic plague this year, the Chinese Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

Infectious diseases in China are classified into three categories by the country's Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.

Last month, 349,630 cases of A-Class and B-Class infectious diseases occurred, which claimed 735 lives, and 136,229 cases of C-Class infectious diseases occurred, which claimed six lives.

In September, the top five infectious diseases, accounting for 87.45 percent of the total cases of A and B-Class diseases, were tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diarrhea, syphilis and gonorrhea.

The top five killers were rabies, tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitisB and neonatal tetanus, according to the ministry.

The single case of bubonic plague occurred in northwest China's Gansu Province in September, the first plague case reported so far this year.

Plague, a fatal bacterial disease transmitted by fleas from infected rats, can be contracted through inhaling airborne particles and through close contact with infected rodents.

The most common form, the bubonic plague, results in high fever, delirium and swollen lymph nodes.

According to the Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, A-Class infectious diseases include only two diseases, namely plague and cholera, B-Class infectious diseases include 25 diseases such as viral hepatitis and C-Class infectious diseases include ten diseases such as influenza.

(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2007)

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