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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 13:46, June 19, 2007
Beijing reports sharp rise in hand-foot-mouth disease in June
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Chinese capital Beijing has reported 1,092 cases of children infected with hand-foot-mouth disease since June, a sharp increase on previous months, the municipal health authorities said.

Most of the infections involved children under the age of five, said the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau.

But there have been no reports of any critical cases, it said, adding that it had ordered all medical institutions in the city to provide daily updates on cases of the disease.

The city reported more than 100 cases on each day of June 11, 13 and 14, the bureau said.

The city reported 422 cases of the disease as of May 16 this year, according to the Beijing Municipal Disease Control and Prevention Center. It only reported 186 cases during the January-May period last year.

Hand-foot-mouth disease, also known as coxsackievirus infection, is a common childhood illness that mainly affects children under the age of 10.

Symptoms include fever, sores in the mouth and a rash with blisters. It often begins with a sore throat.

Moderately contagious, the disease, more common in summer and autumn, can be transmitted through nose and throat discharges. It can sometimes be fatal if complications occur.

In Linyi city, eastern Shandong Province, two boys and a girl, all under the age of two, have died from the disease this year, according to the provincial health department. Linyi had reported 1,263 cases as of May 24 this year, 872 of whom had recovered.

As of May 21, China had reported 5,459 cases of hand-foot-mouth disease, up 119 percent on last year, according to the health ministry.

Source: Xinhua

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