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More sanitary efforts urged in SW China quake zone

(Xinhua)

10:14, September 15, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Health has called for stepped up efforts to monitor drinking water, food and epidemic situations to prevent disease outbreak in the quake-hit border area of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces.

"Disease prevention efforts should be focused on monitoring the sanitary status of drinking water and food, managing the surrounding environment and offering health education to local residents," said a statement released Friday by the ministry.

According to the statement, no major epidemic outbreaks or public health emergencies have been reported in the quake zone so far, and local hospitals had resumed normal operations by Wednesday.

Making note of toilet sanitation and garbage disposal in more than 250 temporary shelters, the ministry also urged timely investigation and treatment efforts in cases of diarrhea and respiratory diseases as well as full preparations for possible epidemic outbreaks and other public health incidents.

Multiple earthquakes -- with the strongest measured at 5.7 magnitude -- struck a mountainous area on the border of rural Yunnan and Guizhou provinces last Friday, leaving at least 81 people dead in Yiliang, the hardest-hit county.

According to the ministry, nearly 2,000 health workers dispatched to the quake zone had sterilized 3,830 water sources as well as an area of 475,000 square meters by Thursday.

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