Beijing reports China's 40th child death from HFMD

Beijing  - Health officials in Beijing on Wednesday reported the city's first death from a virally transmitted hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), which infected some 27,500 children in China this year.

The child in Beijing's Chaoyang district died on the way to hospital on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Deng Xiaohong, a spokeswoman of the Beijing Health Bureau, as saying.

The new death is the first in Beijing this year and raises the death toll from HFMD in China to 40 for 2008.

The health ministry earlier this week said the epidemic had been brought under control and that more children were being discharged from hospitals.

Fuyang in the eastern province of Anhui, where more than 5,000 cases of HFMD and at least 23 deaths were reported, and other parts of Anhui province are the worst- affected areas.

The World Health Organization last week said it was satisfied with China's efforts to curb the spread of infections.

HFMD is a common childhood disease that causes symptoms including ulcers and blisters in the mouth, rashes on the hands and feet and fever.

It is spread mainly by the enterovirus EV71, which is from the same family as the polio virus, but it can also be transmitted by several other viruses.

China recorded more than 80,000 HFMD cases and 17 deaths in 2007, the health ministry said.

HFMD mainly affects infants and young children and is life- threatening in a small number of cases owing to complications such as lung haemorrhage and meningitis. (dpa)