China's public health authorities have stepped up efforts to wipe out disease-carrying pests in Olympic cities before the Games next year.
More than 160 health workers from Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shenyang and Qinhuangdao, where Olympic events are to be held, are receiving training in Beijing, the Health Ministry announced Monday.
The training, organized by the National Committee for the Patriotic Public Health Campaign, is aimed at improving the capacity of local health agencies to prevent and control vector-borne diseases, or diseases transmitted from pests to humans, the ministry said.
Trainees will be introduced to scientific means to kill pests, including rats, mosquitoes, blackbeetles, lice and fleas, which are the potential sources of dengue fever, yellow fever and other infectious diseases.
The training is also expected to help improve the cities' rapid response capacities to animal-carrying diseases during the Olympics.
A spokesman with the national committee said bites or stings from pests could harm the health of athletes or affect their sleep, which would have negative impact on their their performance.
"The prevention and control of pests will undoubtedly have its impact on the Olympics," said the spokesman.
According to the Health Ministry, Beijing, host city of the 2008 Olympics, has already started a pest extinguishing campaign at gymnasiums and athletes' villages for the 2008 Olympics.