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Measles cases rise in east China
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08:32, February 27, 2008

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Incidents of measles have been on the rise in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang this year, the provincial public health department said on Tuesday.

The department reported 1,686 cases of the contagious disease between Jan. 1 to Feb. 23, about 6.2 times more than the same period last year.

Statistics from the province's disease control center showed that 88.85 percent of the cases occurred in Wenzhou, Ningbo, Jinhua, Taizhou and Hangzhou, the province's top five cities with large floating populations.

Children made up the majority of those who contracted measles. Of the total, 46 percent were under one year. Most of the migrant people who had measles had not been vaccinated before, according to the center.

"Children of the right age can be vaccinated against measles virus free of charge in Zhejiang since 2005, including the kids of migrant workers," said Yang Jing, head of the provincial public health department.

Many measures have been taken to curb the spread of the infectious disease, Yang added.

The provinces surrounding Zhejiang have also reported increasing incidents of the disease recently.

According to a report by the Ministry of Health earlier this month, infectious diseases claimed 571 lives nationwide in January. The top-five killers were tuberculosis, rabies, AIDS, hepatitis B, and measles.

Source: Xinhua

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