China virus death toll reaches 34
The contagious hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) has killed four more children in China, pushing up the death toll to 34 with nearly 25,000 people affected.world Updated: May 09, 2008 12:04 IST
The contagious hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) has killed four more children in China, pushing up the death toll to 34 with nearly 25,000 people affected.
Official Xinhua news agency said in the fresh cases, an eight-month old baby died in Guangdong province and a one-and-a-half-year-old infant in Guangxi. Two more deaths were reported in Anhui province which accounted for 22 fatal cases till Thursday.
HFMD is a common childhood illness caused by up to 20 types of viruses and usually starts with slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on hands and feet.
But the current outbreak has been linked mainly to deadly entero-virus 71. Patients affected by EV71 often show serious symptoms which can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, pulmonary edema and paralysis in some cases. There is no vaccine or specific cure.
As of yesterday, 24,934 children were affected by HFMD on the Chinese mainland, of whom 34 have died.
Health Ministry has issued a nationwide alert and warned that the nation would see a higher incidence of HFMD in June and July.
The Health Ministry said HFMD incidence in the worst-hit city of Fuyang in Anhui province was declining with discharged patients outnumbering those getting admitted for the first time.
China reported 80,000 cases of HFMD last year, including 17 fatal ones.
The provinces affected this year are Anhui, Jiangsu, Hunan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Henan, Hebei, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Guanxi, Jiangxi, Yunan, Jilin and the municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing.