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Child virus kills 3, sickens 110 in east China

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[October 20, 2008]  BEIJING (AP) -- Hand, foot and mouth disease has killed three children and sickened about 110 others in eastern China, state media reported.

The official Xinhua News Agency said late Sunday that all the cases were reported in Jian'ou city of Fujian province from October 1 to 17.

HardwareCiting a provincial health official, Xinhua said the children who died from the infectious disease were under a year old and came from different towns. Twenty-two of the infected children were still hospitalized for treatment, the report said.

The provincial government has sent eight epidemic prevention experts to the city to help local medical staff conduct citywide checks on children, Xinhua said.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is common in young children and is characterized by fever, mouth sores and a rash with blisters. It is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected persons. It is not related to foot and mouth disease, which infects cattle, sheep and swine.

In spring, the spread of the virus sickened more than 24,000 people and killed dozens across China before authorities reported a slowdown in infections in May in Anhui, the province where the outbreak was first reported.

Anhui was the worst-hit province with 26 deaths, and the outbreak was first reported there in March.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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