Late last week, China revealed that their hospitals had been battling an internal virus similar to hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) since early March.
Enterovirus (EV71) causes a severe form of hand, foot and mouth disease with symptoms including fever, mouth sores and rashes with blisters. It is easily spread by sneezing or coughing. The viruses mainly strike children ages 10 and younger.
Some cases can lead to fatal swelling of the brain.
EV71 is not related to foot and mouth disease, which afflicts livestock.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment, but most children affected by mild forms of the disease typically recover quickly without problems.
Today it is being reported that more than 11,900 cases have been reported, with at least 24 deaths in the central province of Anhui and Guangdong province. Of the children that had been reported infected, all were below the age of 6 and the majority were under the age of 2.
The World Health Organization says the virus normally peaks in June and July so there could still be an increase in infections as the weather warms.
WHO’s China representative, Hans Troedsson, said the disease was not a threat to the Beijing Olympics because the disease mostly sickens young children.
China’s Health Ministry has sent teams to Anhui to coordinate treatment of the disease and prevent its spread.
Heaven forbid that the sick children effect the Olympics… SOURCE