Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Is EV71 And Why Are Kids Dying In China?

Here is some important information realting to the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease in china.

The recent outbreak in China of enterovirus 71 has been called Hand, foot and mouth disease. HFMD is a common illness in infants and children. In most cases it is a mild condition that doesn’t require medical treatment and goes away in 7 to 10 days.
While HFMD is a common ailment of children and is widespread in North American daycares the virus in China is the EV71 which is a much more serious form. The main concern isn’t the virus itself but the syndromes that can come from it including acute flaccid paralysis (similar to paralytic poliomyelitis), bulbar and brain encephalitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and rapidly fatal pulmonary edema and hemorrhage.

In 1998 a huge outbreak took place in Taiwan. From March to December 1998 there were 129,106 cases of the disease reported in the nation’s children. That is just the reported cases. It was estimated that the total number of children that came down with the disease was over one million. 405 children had the most severe cases and in 19.3 percent of those cases death was the final outcome. All of the children who died were under the age of five although older children did have severe cases.

In an autopsy it was revealed that the presence of the EV 17 virus had invaded the spinal cord. When these children went to hospital they have generally already suffered for 2 to 4 days with high fevers. Once they were so sick that they were hospitalized the children died within 24 hours. Almost all of the children in the Taiwan outbreak died from pulmonary edema and hemorrhage or after they developed brain-stem encephalitis.

While prior to the outbreak in Taiwan it was thought that the only mode of transmission was fecal-oral it has started to be believed that it can also be transmitted by respiratory transmission.

The transmission of this disease can linger for months after recovery as it stays present in the feces for at least two months.

There is no set treatment for the virus. Rather doctors have to wait for a symptom to develop and then treat.

Once a child has HFMD they should be excluded from child care and school until any blisters have healed. If a child has Enterovirus 71 neurological disease they should be isolated from other children until their feces are clear of the virus.

China is in the early stages of this disease. With 22 children having already died in Fuyang it is sad to say but chances are the virus will be present during the time span of the Summer Games in Beijing.

There have already been reports of other areas in the Anhui provision where Fuyang is of children being ill and two probable deaths from the virus.

Will Beijing be safe for the athletes come August? Because the virus is most prevalent in young children it would appear so. Still that leads to the question of the safety of the youngest tourist coming to witness the games. There is a slim chance that children should stay away if the virus spreads to Beijing. It is always better to err on the side of caution when considering the risks to children’s health.

Here is the link to the original source: EV71

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:48 PM   0 comments links to this post


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