HFMD kills five more Chinese children, death toll hits 39

HFMD kills five more Chinese children, death toll hits 39Beijing- The death toll from a virally transmitted hand- foot-mouth disease (HFMD) in China rose to 39 Monday as the government reported the deaths of five more children in three provinces.

But the health ministry said the epidemic had been brought under control and that more children were being discharged from hospitals, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Health authorities in the eastern province of Anhui said a girl from Lixin county had died in nearby Fuyang city of HFMD caused by the enterovirus EV71.

Three more deaths were reported in the southern province of Guangdong and one in the nearby island province of Hainan, the agency said.

China has recorded about 27,500 HFMD infections this year.

Fuyang, 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 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)