Pig-Borne Illness Death Toll Rises to 38

One more person has died from a deadly pig-borne disease in southwest China (search) to bring the death toll from the outbreak to 38, the government said.

The number of cases had increased by one to 206, the Sichuan (search) provincial health department said on its Web site late Wednesday.

Of these, 165 are confirmed to have the disease while 41 are suspected. Among the victims, 142 remained hospitalized and 18 are in critical condition.

Chinese officials have insisted the disease is under control.

Authorities in Sichuan, where the disease was first discovered in June, have begun to manufacture large quantities of vaccine for swine, although no vaccines have yet been developed for humans, state media reported earlier.

All the victims were found to have had direct contact with sick or dead pigs. Experts say butchering and eating infected pork is the only way for humans to catch the disease.

The bacteria is endemic in Asia (search), North America and Europe, with the first recorded human case in Denmark in 1968. More than 200 cases of human infection have been reported globally since then, not counting the latest outbreak.