The recent encephalitis outbreak among children in Tianshui, a city in northwest China's Gansu Province, was neither epidemic encephalitis nor encephalitis B, but a sort of viral encephalitis, according to Wang Jian, director of the city's disease control and prevention center.
At a press conference held Friday morning by the provincial health authority, Wang said from March 4 to June 23 this year, two hospitals in Tianshui received 153 ill children aged between 1 and 13 with fevers and headaches. Fifty-three males and 30 females were diagnosed as having viral encephalitis. Of the remaining 70 cases, 23 were suspicious and 47 were ruled out as having encephalitis.
Currently, there are still 42 children under observation and medical treatment, of which 13 have been diagnosed as having viral encephalitis, Wang said. The children are expected to leave the hospital in the near future.
Earlier reports suggested the encephalitis breakout had something to do with an encephalitis B vaccine injection in some kindergartens in Tianshui. But the Friday press conference ruled out the possibility.
The cause of the breakout remains unknown, and blood samples of the little patients have been sent to the China Disease Control and Prevention Center in Beijing for virus separation.