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Team sent to check mystery illness

THE Ministry of Health has dispatched a team to southwestern China's Yunnan Province to investigate the unexplained deaths of 12 people, who had all worked in quartz plants.

The team arrived late Thursday in the Shui fu County of Zhaotong City, where, according to local sources, 12 villagers had died from a "strange disease" from October 2006 to December 2008.

The dead had all worked at some stage in quartz processing plants in Guan'gou Village in Fengyang County, Chuzhou City, east China's Anhui Province, he said.

A total of 77 villagers from Shuifu had worked in Guan'gou, of whom more than 30 had developed symptoms of coughing, dizziness and breathing difficulties since 2006.

Twenty-one, including three seriously ill, are still in hospital in Shuifu County.


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