AIDS in Asia pp 295-305 | Cite as

Infectious Diseases in China

  • Yi Zeng
  • Hua Xu
  • Jiaxi Zhang


Before 1949, many epidemic diseases occurred in China due to corruption in the government, foreign invasions, and poor technologies. According to Chinese history, up to 305 years prior to the founding of the People’s Republic of China (P.R.China), a plague epidemic affecting a total of 2 6 million people caused 2.4 million deaths. Smallpox epidemics occurred every year. Between 1933 and 1944, about 380,000 people contracted smallpox. In 1820, cholera was introduced into China; since then there have been about a hundred of serious cholera epidemics in China Schistosomiasis once reached a two million square kilometer epidemic area, with 11 million people contracting the disease. There were hundreds of thousands of people who died or became disabled from measles, malaria, diphtheria, pertussis, meningococcal meningitis, and polio. Due to the lack of a basic infectious disease reporting system, statistics were very difficult to accurately obtain and monitor. Epidemics of sexually transmitted infections (STI) were rampant in both urban and rural areas; these were regarded as a social issue. In China’s five thousand years of history, no governments have had the capability to control infectious epidemics and to establish a national epidemic preventive system.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Sexually Transmit Infection Chinese Government Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Chinese Foundation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi Zeng
    • 1
  • Hua Xu
    • 1
  • Jiaxi Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.Chinese Foundation for Prevention of STD and AIDSBeijingChina
  2. 2.China Preventive Medicine AssociationBeijingChina

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