Published Date: 2010-04-12 11:00:04
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hand, foot & mouth disease (02): China
Archive Number: 20100412.1184
HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (02): CHINA
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 9 Apr 2010
Source: Health News, PA report [edited]
A top Chinese leader called for stepped-up research into vaccines and
drugs for hand, foot and mouth disease after 40 children died from
outbreaks last month [March 2010], a state news agency said Saturday
[3 Apr 2010?]. The Ministry of Health reported 77 756 cases of the
disease in March 2010. The number of deaths  increased sharply,
up from 10 in February 2010. "Preventing and controlling various
infectious diseases such as hand-foot-mouth disease is a key task,"
Xinhua News Agency quoted Vice Premier Li Keqiang as saying.
China sees deadly outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease every
spring and summer, particularly in rural areas where hygiene is poor.
There were 353 deaths from the disease in 2009, according to Health
[Vice Premier] Li called for more research into vaccines and drugs to
fight the disease, plus stronger prevention and control efforts,
Xinhua said. Outbreaks were reported in southern China's Guangxi
Autonomous Region as well as Guangdong, Henan, Hebei and Shandong
Currently, there is no vaccine or specific treatment for the virus,
but most children recover quickly without problems. The virus is
unrelated to the foot and mouth disease that affects livestock.
Hand, foot and mouth disease typically strikes infants and children
and is characterized by fever, mouth sores and a rash with blisters.
It is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges,
saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected people.
[Hand, foot & mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by several different
viruses classified in the genus _Enterovirus_ of the family
_Picornaviridae_. Coxsackievirus A16 has been the most common cause
of HFMD in the United States, but other coxsackieviruses and
enteroviruses have been associated with the illness. In particular
recently, enterovirus 71 has also been associated with HFMD outbreaks
in Southeast Asia. The viruses that cause HFMD can remain in the body
for weeks after a patient's symptoms have gone away. This means that
the infected child can still pass the infection to other children and
adults, although adults rarely show symptoms. The Health News report
is accompanied by particularly good images showing the lesions on
hands, feet and face characteristic of the disease.
Although most HFMD infections do not result in serious complications,
outbreaks of HFMD caused by enterovirus 71 have been associated with
a high rate of neurological complications, including
meningoencephalitis, pulmonary complications, and possibly death.
A map of the provinces of China can be accessed at:
<http://www.sacu.org/provmap.html>, and the HealthMap/ProMED-mail
interactive map of China is available at:
<http://healthmap.org/r/008e>. - Mod.CP]