Published Date: 2007-05-20 13:00:01
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hand, foot & mouth disease - China (Shandong) (03)
Archive Number: 20070520.1604
HAND, FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - CHINA (SHANDONG) (03)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 20 May 2007
Source: Canada.com, Canadian Press [edited]
An outbreak of a viral disease common in children has sickened almost 900
people in eastern China, but the outbreak has been contained, state media
reported on Sat 19 May 2007. The outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease
(HFMD) began in late April 2007 in the city of Linyi in Shandong province,
the Xinhua News Agency said.
About 470 patients had recovered by Friday [18 May 2007], and another 393
people -- mostly children -- were still sick, with more than half still in
the hospital, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing Bao Wenhui, the deputy
director of the provincial health department.
The latest information was probably a response to media reports earlier
this week that said more than 2 dozen children had died and that there had
been a cover-up. The reports also said the true figures had not been
released to prevent public panic. Local health officials dismissed those
reports as rumors.
China has in the past been accused of foot-dragging in releasing
information about outbreaks of diseases such as bird flu and severe acute
respiratory syndrome, or SARS. A 2 year old girl diagnosed as a probable
HFMD patient died on 29 Apr 2007, but no other deaths have been reported
since, Xinhua stated. HFMD is common in young children and is characterized
by fever, mouth sores and a rash with blisters. It is not related to foot
and mouth disease, which infects cattle, sheep and swine. The US Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes HFMD as mild and says
nearly all patients recover in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment. But
[rarely] the disease may also lead to more serious and fatal diseases such
as encephalitis or a type of paralysis, according to CDC.
Xinhua said local health departments have launched a public awareness
campaign and quarantined children who are sick. Shandong [province]
reported 2477 cases of HFMD in 2005, including one death, and 3030 cases in
2006, 2 of which were fatal, the report said.
ProMED-mail rapporteur Mary Marshall
[This thread is hereby now cut. - Mod.CP]