No major epidemic after Sichuan quake

Xinhua, April 26, 2013

No major epidemic nor emergency health incidents have occurred in Lushan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, after it was hit by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Saturday, a local official said on Thursday.

As of Wednesday, a total of 1.41 million sq meters of land had been disinfected, and tropical freshwater snails had been destroyed in an area covering 120,000 sq meters to prevent snail fever, said Zhu Xiaoping, vice director of the center for disease control and prevention of Sichuan Province.

Zhu added that a total of 1,809 tonnes of rubbish have been cleared and 10,973 people have received psychological help.

"Local authorities have taken anti-epidemic measures including examining drinking water," Zhu said.

Some drinking water in the county has been tested so it can be drunk. However, there are places where water is unsafe to drink with warning signs and guards preventing people from consuming it, Zhu added.

Local health organs will also accelerate disinfection of water sources and carry out daily monitoring until it meets drinking standards, said Zhu.

Wang Huaqing, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the center is keeping a close eye on the situation that some people have complained of digestive discomfort.

"We are strengthening monitoring and reporting of fever and diarrhea , so as to reduce the epidemic risk to the lowest degree," said Wang.