Sunday, March 29, 2009

China hand, foot and mouth virus epidemic getting worse

China is asking medical personnel countrywide to go house-to-house to help stop an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease which has now killed 19 children thus far this year.

“The epidemic is getting worse and infections are expected to peak between May and July,” Deng Haihua, director of the information office of the Ministry of Health (MOH), stated in a press conference.

40 Chinese children died in the spring of 2008 and thousands more were infected when the sickness was linked with enterovirus 71, which could cause a severe form of the disease characterised by high fever, paralysis and meningitis.

Heze city reported 1,734 HFMD cases between Jan. 1 and midnight Friday, according to the city’s health bureau. Just on Friday, 440 cases were reported

The hand, foot and mouth virus typically affects babes and children. Although some cases can be deadly, most are mild with children recovering quickly. It is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected persons.

Here is the link to the original story: China

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