A hand-foot-mouth outbreak that began in April in Linyi city of east China’s Shandong Province has hit 863 people, mostly children, but no new deaths have been reported, a local official said.
Hand-Foot-And-Mouth syndrome is a clinical complex caused by a viral infection It consists of a rash (as the name indicates) on the hands and feet and in the mouth.
Another 393 people, mainly children, are suffering from the disease, and 223 of them are in hospital, provincial health department deputy director, Bao Wenhui said.
The patients are scattered in different counties and towns in the Linyi area.
Local health departments have launched a public awareness campaign, reminding parents that one of the best preventive measures for the disease is frequent hand washing and isolate the children affected. They are monitoring the outbreak closely using a daily reporting system.
Shandong Province recorded 2,477 cases of hand-food-mouth disease in 2005, including one death, and 3,030 cases in 2006, two of which were fatal.
Prevention of hand-foot-mouth disease involves careful attention to hygiene. Thorough, consistent hand-washing practices, and discouraging the sharing of clothes, towels, and stuffed toys are all helpful. Virus continues to be passed in the feces for several weeks after infection, so good hygiene should be practiced long after all signs of infection have passed.