China reports 43rd child death from HFMD

Beijing  - Health officials on Friday said a 22-month-old girl in the eastern province of Jiangxi died from virally transmitted hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), China's 43rd confirmed child death from HFMD this year.

The girl died in hospital in Jiangxi's Ganzhou city on Thursday and laboratory tests showed that she was infected with the enterovirus EV71, which is the most common cauase of HFMD infections in China.

The child was from a village in Jiangxi and it was not known when she first became ill, the official Xinhua news agency quoted the provincial disease control centre as saying.

Jiangxi has reported 1,424 of about 27,500 HFMD cases in China this year and three more infected children remain in critical condition in the province, the agency said

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)