The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported that 515 people died
in "public health incidents" in 2007 in China, up 17.8 percent from
the previous year.
More than 98,254 people were involved in 2,552 such incidents in
2007, down 31.9 and 7.7 percent, respectively, according to the MOH
Such incidents, by MOH definition, include epidemics, food
poisoning, pollution and job-related poisoning.
The MOH attributed the rising death toll to a higher number of
food poisoning and environmental pollution cases, although exact
figures weren't released.
Among the five cases that the MOH categorized as "major
incidents," three were related to avian flu and the other two to
job-related poisoning. The five cases involved 23 people and killed
The ministry said that situation was unlikely to have shown an
overall change in 2008, but it added that "schools, especially
elementary and middle schools in rural areas, are likely to be the
venue of public health incidents".
(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2008)