Hand, foot and mouth claims 50 children | Shanghai Daily

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Hand, foot and mouth claims 50 children

FIFTY deaths from hand, foot and mouth disease have been reported since the start of the year, according to the Ministry of Health.

A total of 54,713 cases on the disease were reported last month, among which 31 died, said Deng Haihua, head of the ministry's press office.

Ten provinces or autonomous region, including Henan, Jiangsu, Anhui, Guangdong and Guangxi, had about 80 percent of the total 115,618 cases reported nationwide.

"Compared with the figures last year, the outbreak seemed to come early. The number of cases was still increasing and would reach its peak from May to July," he said.

Thirteen deaths were recorded in Heze, Shandong Province; 11 in Shangqiu of Henan Province; and 5 in Henan's Kaifeng City.

The disease typically strikes infants and children. While occasionally deadly, most of the cases are mild, with children recovering quickly after suffering little more than a fever and rash.

Children under five accounted for 94.8 percent of the cases while those under three accounted for nearly 78 percent, Deng said. The outbreak appears more widespread than in recent years.

The Ministry of Health has said China had about 80,000 hand, foot and mouth cases and 17 deaths in 2007.

Last year the virus sickened 27,000 people and killed dozens in the first few months of 2008 before reports of outbreaks subsided in May, according to news reports.

A total of 1,144 people died from infectious diseases on Chinese mainland in March, according to the ministry.

Of the 129,191 cases of Class C infectious diseases, 35 were fatal. Hand-foot-mouth disease, other infectious diarrhea and mumps were the top three killers, accounting for 86 percent of the reported cases, the ministry said.

It said there were 359,516 cases of Class B infectious diseases, with 1,109 deaths. Viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis, diarrhea and gonorrhea were the top five killers, accounting for almost 95 percent of the reported cases, according to the ministry.

No cases of SARS, polio, bird flu or diphtheria were reported.

Plague and cholera are categorized as Class A infectious diseases, the most serious category, under China's Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.

Class B diseases include 25 ailments such as viral hepatitis and Class C includes 10 diseases, such as influenza.




 

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