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Three die of hand, foot and mouth disease

THREE children have died of hand, foot and mouth disease in Shanghai this year amid an earlier peak season triggered by what seems a stronger virus, officials from Shanghai Health Bureau said today.

The deaths were mainly among migrant children left unsupervised in suburbs, the bureau said.

They did not attend kindergartens and were left at home in unhygienic conditions by their working parents, it added.

The peak season for hand, foot and mouth disease has hit the city earlier than usual this year.

By mid April, Shanghai reported 6,898 cases of the virus, more than double the number in the same period last year.

Among the cases, 2,475 were local children and 4,423 were migrant children.

Shanghai Health Bureau has intensified control and prevention of the disease by setting up a task force of 18 medical experts on duty 24 hours a day plus an enhanced monitoring system covering all schools and kindergartens.

Schools and kindergartens must report cases to health authorities and be closed immediately if deaths or serious cases were reported, or if more than 10 children develop the condition within a week.


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