Hospitals Fail to Report Suspected Cases amid NW China Polio Outbreak
2012-01-31 17:29:47 Xinhua Web Editor: Zhangxu
Four hospitals failed to report suspected cases of polio in a far northwestern region of China that experienced an outbreak of the disease last August, the regional government said Tuesday.
During the epidemic monitoring period, the hospitals, located in four cities in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, including the regional capital Urumqi and the border town Kashgar, failed to report 23 cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP), a common indicator of polio, according to the regional government's health bureau.
Twenty persons have been infected since a polio epidemic started in Xinjiang last August. The local government has conducted large-scale vaccinations across the region.
Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a viral disease of the brain and spinal cord that mainly affects children under five years old. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis, usually in the legs. AFP is a sudden onset of weakness or paralysis, as is commonly found with polio.
Four regions in Xinjiang -- the prefectures of Hotan, Kashgar, Bayingolin and Aksu -- were classified as epidemic zones.
Regional health authorities have ordered strengthened monitoring efforts, especially among the migrant population who move in and out of the region during the Spring Festival.