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. Shanghai begins anti-mosquito drive ahead of Games: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 22, 2008
Shanghai has launched a 10-day campaign to clear the city of mosquitoes, state media said Tuesday, to ensure competitors in Olympic football matches do not suffer too many bites.

Measures include placing mosquito-luring cages and jars around the city and spraying pesticides on fountains or ponds, Xinhua news agency reported.

"April is a vital period for mosquito control efforts," Leng Pei'en, an official at the city's disease control and prevention centre, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Experience showed that the control of the first generation of mosquitoes in early spring would reduce their numbers at the peak of summer, according to Leng.

"It will in curb incidence of diseases spread by mosquitoes so as to create a fair environment for the Olympic Games soccer matches scheduled to take place in Shanghai," he was quoted as saying.

As well as Shanghai, Olympic football matches will take place in Beijing and neighbouring Tianjin.

Teams have also been dispatched to clear up areas where mosquitos can breed, while the public was advised to report any stagnant water they found, Xinhua said.

Serious mosquito-borne diseases are uncommon in Shanghai, but the city sees a peak in the summer in cases of encephalitis, a rare but serious disease often transmitted by the insects, according to Xinhua.

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