China punishes doctors, officials for misdeeds in foot-hand-mouth epidemic 2008-05-05 21:57:33   Print

    HEFEI, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in east China's Anhui province have ordered punishment for 10 doctors and officials for their misdeeds in handling the hand-foot-mouth disease that has caused 22 deaths in the province, official sources said on Monday.

    Song Yunxin and Li Guangming, both doctors with the Shaoying Town Hospital in Fuyang city were given demerits on Saturday by the Yingquan district health bureau for delaying shifting a patient to the county hospital.

    The patient came to the hospital on April 30 and May 1 for fever and vomiting. Song and Li just gave intravenous drips to the patient without proper examination, nor did they refer the patient to other hospitals.

    Later on May 1, when the same patient came to the hospital of Xingliu township. The case was diagnosed as meningitis by Liu Jiajun, vice director of the hospital. And it was not until 9:00 p.m. on the same day that the patient was shifted to another hospital.

    Wang Dongjun, a Lichen village doctor in Santa town, Taihe county, was fined 4,080 yuan (583 U.S. dollars) for illegally injecting immune globulin on 17 children. Wang trumpeted that his immune globulin could prevent the EV71 intestinal virus, which is one of the causes of hand-foot-mouth disease. He charges 80 yuan for each injection.

    Li Baohua, a Zhanxi village doctor in Santang town was also punished for the same reason.

    Li Peixun and four other officials were reprimanded by the government of Taihe county for failing their duties in spreading knowledge about the disease in Lichen village, where they were posted. The government said this had made it possible for doctor Wang to profiteer from the disease.

    Both EV71 and Cox A16 can cause HFMD, which usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet.

    Those sickened by EV71 often show serious symptoms. It can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, pulmonary edema and paralysis in some children. There is no vaccine.

    The number of Chinese children infected with hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) continues to rise Monday, with reported cases exceeding 8,531, according to Xinhua counting of local official results.

Editor: Feng Tao
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