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July 19, 2012

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Hand, foot and mouth illness kills 2 kids

TWO more children were killed by hand, foot and mouth disease, making the city's death toll three so far this year, according to the monthly infectious disease report released by Shanghai Health Bureau.

Both of the deaths were migrant children, though the bureau didn't release further details. This year's first death from HFMD was reported in May and also was a migrant child.

The city reported 14,506 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease last month, including 7,562 local children and 6,944 migrant children, who are more likely to develop serious complications due to their families' lack of awareness.

Children age three and younger are the main sufferers of HFMD, which is an infectious disease characterized by fever, painful sores in the mouth or throat and skin rashes.

The disease, spread through direct and indirect contact with an infected person's saliva and stool, usually enters its peak between May and July in Shanghai.

The number of HFMD cases was slightly smaller than the previous month, with 15,362 cases, but still higher than the same month last year.

There were 11,147 HFMD cases in June of last year, when two children died of the disease.

Shanghai saw a rising number of patients with HFMD this year. The numbers in March, April and June were all over 3,000 more than the corresponding months last year. May saw over 6,000 more cases than May of 2011.

Local health officials said the prevalence of HFMD is under control.

HFMD cases on China's mainland this March, April and May were more than double the same month of last year. The caseload last month was also higher than the same month of last year.


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