Of course, we don’t know how much this is being understated. This is a higher fatality rate than in previous years. Enterovirus 71 is one of several enteroviruses that causes a disease in humans called Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.
Provided by: The Canadian Press
Written by: Audra Ang, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BEIJING – Health officials in eastern China say a viral outbreak has killed 20 children and left almost 1,200 others ill.
The Enterovirus 71 infections were discovered in March in Fuyang, a city in Anhui province. But health officials say the malady may have gone undetected for a time because the symptoms are similar to other ailments common in children.
It was not immediately clear what triggered the outbreak, but the province’s health bureau said it is the season when the virus is prevalent.
Enterovirus 71 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.
What that means is that it comes around about every ten years and older children have developed some immunity.
The official Xinhua news agency reported that most of the patients admitted to hospitals in Fuyang were under age two, and none was older than six.
There were 1,199 reported cases between early March and Sunday, 20 of which were fatal, the health bureau said in a statement on its website.
Maybe it comes around every few years. Here’s the CDC page on Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.
HFMD caused by coxsackievirus A16 infection is a mild disease and nearly all patients recover without medical treatment in 7 to 10 days. Complications are uncommon. Rarely, the patient with coxsackievirus A16 infection may also develop “aseptic” or viral meningitis, in which the person has fever, headache, stiff neck, or back pain, and may need to be hospitalized for a few days. Another cause of HFMD, EV71 may also cause viral meningitis and, rarely, more serious diseases, such as encephalitis, or a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. EV71 encephalitis may be fatal. Cases of fatal encephalitis occurred during outbreaks of HFMD in Malaysia in 1997 and in Taiwan in 1998 [and China in 2008].
I didn’t know there were so many of them. Non-polio enterovirus infections:
Enteroviruses are small viruses that are made of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and protein. This group includes the polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and other enteroviruses. [There are] 3 different polioviruses [and] 62 non-polio enteroviruses that can cause disease in humans:
- 23 Coxsackie A viruses,
- 6 Coxsackie B viruses,
- 28 echoviruses, and
- 5 other enteroviruses.