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Health official says anti-malaria medicine certified, but overdose used for children in SW China

07-16-2010 09:14 BJT

NEIJIANG, Sichuan, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The illnesses of 104 villagers who took anti-malaria medication were "normal" reactions, and no connection was found with the drug quality, local authorities in southwest China's Sichuan Province said Thursday.

Children were given the same dosage as adults - four chloroquine pills and three primaquine pills - at the Dongxing District Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Neijiang City, head of the center Yuan Qi said.

"Those under 16-years of age should have been given smaller doses. At least a dozen children received excessive doses," said Yuan.

Exhaustion and nausea are common reactions after taking the medicine, said Liu Xiaodan at the No.1 People's Hospital in Neijiang.

An investigation showed there was nothing wrong with the medicine's quality, Yuan said, adding that it came from the provincial CDC and was handed out for free.

Lu Dajiang from Shashi Village was diagnosed with falciparum malaria on May 11 and received treatment, a statement from the provincial health department said.

Some 143 people in nearby Mawan Village who were in close contact with Lu took the two medicine Monday. Soon after, they began complaining of exhaustion and nausea.

Meng Yushan, who complained of a headache after taking the medicine, died at around 8 p.m. Monday.

Meng's mother, Song Zhenghui, said her daughter vomited and then became unconscious half an hour after taking the pills.

Seventy-five people are being treated in hospital, including a five-year-old girl and a 60-year-old man in serious conditions.

Twenty-eight people had been discharged from the hospital as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The medicine was distributed by the CDC at the municipal and district levels, as well as at the Beinan Township Hospital.

Falciparum malaria is the most dangerous type of malaria. It causes tissue to die from lack of oxygen to the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs and other organs.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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