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Disease prevention next in quake recovery

By Xu Wei and Guo Anfei in Yiliang, Yunnan  (China Daily)

08:59, September 11, 2012

A teacher plays with children at a makeshift kindergarten in a relocation site for quake victims in Yiliang, Yunnan province.(CHINA NEWS SERVICE/LIU RANYANG)

The prevention of endemic diseases has become the most urgent issue in the quake-affected streets and villages in Yiliang county, Yunnan province, as the search for survivors draws close to an end.

With temperatures reaching 35 C and humidity very high, the risk of endemic diseases, including diarrhea, flu and mosquito-borne viruses, are increasing, warns Zhao Yuanjun, deputy director of the health bureau of Yiliang county.

Cheng Lianyuan, vice-mayor of Zhaotong, told a news conference on Monday that rescuers have searched 95 percent of the earthquake-affected areas and the priority task now lies in disease prevention. However, Cheng promised rescuers would not give up any rescue effort when there is hope of life.

High temperatures are posing difficulties to rescuers involved in endemic prevention efforts. The rescuers have to wear special suits with disinfectant spray on their backs.

"It feels like taking a hot shower in the suit. But we know our job is crucial," said Tian Fusheng, a company commander of a regiment tasked with defending against chemical weapons from Kunming, capital of Yunnan province.

On Monday afternoon Tian and his team helped Huang Rong, a worker at a fish farm in the Luozehe township, to sterilize thousands of dead fish in ponds that were destroyed in the earthquakes.

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