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Province of Anhui
A total of 19 children have died and more than 700 others fallen ill because of an outbreak of a lethal intestinal virus in Fuyang City, Anhui Province, since March. The virus has been identified as enter virus 71 or EV 71, according to the health department of Fuyang City. Hospitals in Fuyang, a city in northwestern part of Anhui, started to take in children with fever, along with blisters, ulcers in the mouth, or rashes on the hands and feet, beginning in early March. Most of the victims were aged between two and six. By Saturday, there were 789 cases of infections, of which, 19 were fatal. A total of 204 children remain in hospital for further medical observation, of whom, four are said to be in critical conditions.
Province of Shaanxi
Northwest China's Shaanxi Province has seen 118 cases of hand-foot-mouth disease this year, but no deaths have been reported, local health authorities said Saturday. The Shaanxi Provincial Health Department has begun to monitor kindergartens and schools to prevent the spread of the disease. Central China's Hubei Province has seen 340 cases of the disease this year, but no deaths have been reported, local health authorities said Friday. Death toll from a mass intestinal virus infection rose to 22 and 3,321 children had been sickened by the virus in Fuyang city in the eastern Anhui Province since early March. Hand-foot-mouth disease, also known as coxsackievirus infection, is a common childhood illness that mainly affects children under ten. Symptoms include fever, sores in the mouth and a rash with blisters. It often begins with a sore throat. Moderately contagious, the disease, more common in summer and autumn, can be transmitted through nose and throat discharges. Infection can lead to high death rates in serious cases and no vaccines are available.
Province of Guangdong
A suspected death case of hand-foot-mouth disease was reported in south China's Guangdong Province, the provincial health department announced early Saturday morning. The case was reported in Gaoming district of Foshan city on Friday, and the victim was an 18-month-old boy who died at 10 a.m. Friday after he got ill on April 27, the Guangdong Provincial Health Department said in a statement. The case was probably caused by the intestinal virus known as enterovirus 71, or EV71, according to the instant sample examination from the provincial disease prevention control center. Further examination is under way. Death toll from a mass intestinal virus infection rose to 22 in Fuyang city in the eastern Anhui Province since early March. EV71 can cause hand, foot and mouth disease, which usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on hands and feet.)
Situation Update No. 20
Situation Update No. 20
On 07.05.2008 at 10:30 GMT+2
The death toll from a virally transmitted hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) that has infected 16,000 children rose to 28 on Wednesday as the World Health Organization said it was satisfied with China's efforts to curb the spread of the virus. "China has the capacity, both at the central and local level, to control this disease," Hans Troedsson, the WHO representative in China. Troedsson said Chinese health ministry measures to improve surveillance, raise public awareness and educate health workers were "already starting to have effect". HFMD is a common childhood disease that causes symptoms including ulcers and blisters in the mouth, rashes on the hands and feet and fever. It is spread mainly by enterovirus or EV71, which is from the same family as the polio virus, but it can also be transmitted by several other viruses. Troedsson said there was no indication that the enterovirus had mutated into a more virulent strain in China. The sudden reporting of thousands of cases and the increase in deaths this year appeared to be due to a delay in identifying the initial outbreak, he said at a joint press conference with Chinese health officials.
"Research has not shown that this outbreak has any different features from the previous outbreaks," health ministry spokesman Ma Qun'an said. "Experts believe this year's peak has come earlier than in previous years," Ma said. China recorded more than 80,000 HFMD cases and 17 deaths in 2007, the ministry said. "Last year HFMD was not a notifiable disease so the data may not be accurate," Ma said of the 2007 figures. Ninety per cent of infections recorded this year were in children under five, he said. The worst-hit area, Fuyang city in the eastern province of Anhui, recorded 5,840 infections, including 689 new cases reported on Sunday. At least 22 children died in Fuyang since March 20 and 1,314 remained hospitalized, state media said on Tuesday About 1,500 infections were reported in Beijing but Ma said the potential spread of the disease was unlikely to influence the Beijing Olympics in August. The WHO said last week that Chinese health authorities were expecting more deaths and believed the virus would peak in June or July. HFMD mainly affects infants and young children and is life- threatening in a small number of cases owing to complications such as lung haemorrhage and meningitis.