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Kindergartens closed

HEALTH authorities in Hohhot City in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region said yesterday that they had closed 110 kindergartens, fearing an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease.

Public health workers have monitored a rapid increase in the number of HFMD cases among children in Hohhot since June 1, said Jin Manyi, deputy director of the Health Bureau of Hohhot, the regional capital of Inner Mongolia,

He said all the closed kindergartens failed to meet hygiene standards, and were unlicensed and in areas between urban and rural districts.

"We don't rule out a possibility of an outbreak of the disease in the near future," he said.

Hohhot has had 2,219 confirmed cases of HFMD since the beginning of this year. A four-year-old boy, whose identity was not disclosed, died of the disease in April not long after he developed symptoms.

Out of the 2,219 cases, higher than last year's whole-year total, 1,166 occurred in the first 23 days of this month.

HFMD is a common illness that mainly affects children under the age of 10.


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