2008-07-18 10:55:20 GMT 2008-07-18 18:55:20 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- No major epidemic outbreaks or public health incidents have been reported in China's quake area so far, a health ministry spokesman said here Friday.
However, because of the quake and weather factors, diarrhea and measles were relatively common among the reported sick cases in the quake region, Spokesman Mao Qun'an told a press conference here.
Mao said that most epidemic monitoring stations in the quake zone have been restored, making it possible to better report and trace infectious or suspected cases.
Since the quake struck on May 12, the health ministry has sent 10,630 medical and disease prevention workers to the quake areas, and in cooperation with local staff, their work covered all the villages and quake survivor settlements.
Due to the beefed-up measures, the infectious diseases incidence in the worst-hit regions even saw a decline as compared with past years, he said.
Mao admitted the challenge was still tough in disease prevention, and urged local health departments to further step up their efforts to avoid epidemic outbreaks.
As of Friday noon, the death toll from the 8.0-magnitude earthquake, which devastated southwestern Sichuan Province and some neighboring areas, reached 69,197, according to the State Council Information Office.
Another 374,176 were injured and 18,222 remained missing.