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Five babies die of hand-foot-mouth disease in Shandong

HAND-FOOT-MOUTH disease (HFMD) claimed the lives of five babies in a week in Heze City in east China's Shandong Province, local authorities said yesterday.

A baby boy surnamed Liu fell ill Tuesday and died at 07:31pm Thursday at the Central Hospital of Shanxian County. Another baby boy was sick on Monday and died at 10:12am Friday at the Heze Hospital for Infectious Diseases, the Shandong Provincial Health Department said.

Three other deaths in Heze included a seven-month-old boy, a 15-month-old boy, and a one-year-old girl between Sunday and Wednesday.

Heze city reported 1,734 HFMD cases between January 1 and midnight Friday, according to the city's health bureau. On Friday alone, 440 cases were reported

The city government has designated the Heze traditional Chinese medicine hospital as the second hospital receiving HFMD patients after the the Heze Hospital for Infectious Diseases.

Twenty-five experts from the provincial capital have arrived at the Heze traditional Chinese medicine hospital yesterday to help with the treatment of the disease.

According to the Ministry of Health, HFMD can be caused by a host of intestinal viruses. EV71 was the most common.

HFMD usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on hands and feet. Those with EV71 often show serious symptoms. HFMD can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, pulmonary edema and paralysis in some children. There is no vaccine.


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