Health care and pharmaceuticals

Hand, foot and mouth disease in Beijing

On CCTV too

Xinhua published a report yesterday saying that all 18 districts of Beijing have reported outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease, caused by the EV71 virus intestinal virus.

The first cases of the disease were reported in Fuyang, Anhui Province (see Danwei report of April 28).

Yesterday's Xinhua report says that a total of 1,482 infections have been reported in Beijing. 818 of them were found in kindergartens, 583 at home. All people infected are younger than 5.

The XInhua report says that Youan Hospital and several other clinics have already put in place special facilities to treat infections.

Despite foreign cable news reports screaming about a 'deadly' virus, the virus is treatable and not that deadly. On the other hand, Xinhua and CCTV have not shied away from reporting about the disease, a welcome change from the days of SARS in 2003, when a disease outbreak was treated as something to be ashamed of and covered up.

UPDATE: This from a web page from the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Enterovirus 71 Outbreaks, Taiwan: Occurrence and Recognition

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) was first isolated in California in 1969. Since then, EV71 has been isolated in many parts of the world.

Two patterns of EV71 outbreaks have been observed: small outbreaks associated with occasional patient death and severe outbreaks associated with a high case-fatality rate. The latter pattern occurred in Bulgaria in 1975 with 44 deaths (2) and Hungary in 1978 with 45 deaths (3). During the past 5 years severe outbreaks have occurred: in Malaysia in 1997 with 30 deaths and in Taiwan with 78 deaths in 1998, 25 deaths in 2000, and 26 deaths in 2001.

So perhaps use of the word "deadly" is accurate. But can it be treated? This is from The China Daily:

Nationwide alert issued on disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), characterized by fever, sores in the mouth and rashes on hands and feet, is not a new infection and is common among infants and children, experts say. It can be triggered by various viruses and usually does not lead to death.

Of the fatal cases reported this year, severe complications due to EV71 infection including meningitis, encephalitis, pulmonary edema and paralysis were the cause of death.

"While not all the children infected with the virus develop the lethal complications, prevention and early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for recovery" said Liu Xiaolin, a leading doctor at Fuyang No 2 People's Hospital, which has been designated for treatment of the disease.

The Ministry of Health said on its website that "HFMD is highly preventable and can be treated".

However, there is no effective vaccine available worldwide to kill the EV71 and "current medical intervention targets the complications from the viral infection", Liu noted.

See also Wikipedia: Enterovirus.

There are currently 11 Comments for Hand, foot and mouth disease in Beijing.

Comments on Hand, foot and mouth disease in Beijing

I'm sorry, but the delay in reporting the situation does nothing to bolster my confidence in Xinhua or CCTV's coverage of outbreaks and epidemics.

China is well on her way to stop this virus. They first stop sending information to Taiwan about the situation in China will ensure that Taiwan is not well prepared for it. The next is probably the releasing of Chinese tourists all over Taiwan to ensure a good distribution of the virus in Taiwan.

Of course, WHO is not allowed, by China, to send any health information to Taiwan by disallowing Taiwan membership in WHO, promising to pass along all health information to Taiwan.

This is a great start to ensure the virus is wiped out, except in Taiwan.

Remeber the way so many people swallowed that rumour about SARS being a CIA bio-weapons attack on China? Well get ready for that x10!

also; "not that deadly"?

I hear what you're saying but this time it was the local authorities in Anhui that fumbled, not xinhua or cctv.

and Jeremy, EV71 infections arent curable and can cause meningitis.

"hand, foot and mouth disease" sounds like very serious disease, imagine you can't walk, can't type and can't speak at the same time, Gee :)

Yeah, that's what they want you to believe. With Fаlun Dafa you don't have to worry about that stuff at all. Believe dat playboy.

All this ties back to the whole illuminati conspiracy that I've been telling you people about... It's just like SARS man... All faked up by the Western media, especially CNN (a CIA proxy, similar to Danwei, but infinitely worst (but not worser than NPR)), those fucking goons, always keeping the Chinese people down.


You can google this




Finger pointing is pointless.

@Finger pointing - So an article which essentially makes the source of the disease out to be Taiwan is a warning to all of us not to point fingers? Or could it be that diseases don't care who they infect?

Jung was having a joke at the mainland government's expense - lighten up why don't you?


"China is well on her way to stop this virus. They first stop sending information to Taiwan about the situation in China will ensure that Taiwan is not well prepared for it. The next is probably the releasing of Chinese tourists all over Taiwan to ensure a good distribution of the virus in Taiwan."

Jung's post gives an expression, that China mainland is responsible for future (if there is) EV71 outbreak in Taiwan.

And I don't think it is a joke. The "releasing" and "ensure" wording is rather rude.

EV71 is killing children. Real ones. Right here in the country we are in right now. Perhaps I am the only person to comment so far who has a child under 5 in school here, or who works with children in this age group but for *&#$'s sake, it may not kill everyone, but its killing enough of them. Sure politics and cover ups played a role (ask those parents in Anhui) but I really don;t think the media is overstating this.

28 dead and counting in at least 3 provinces.

2 schools closed in Beijing as of May 6th as reported by state media sources tonight, although the rumour flew around all day at schools both local and international.

I am by no means calling for panic or overstating what is happening, but in this case you got it wrong. Chicken Little is apparently covering other stories for Xinhua this week.

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