A doctor examines a child at Sigang
Village in Yaohai District of Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui
Province, May 5, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Contagious hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) had led to 28 deaths in China as of Wednesday morning, according to Xinhua's tally based on confirmed death reports from provincial-level health bureaus.
The central province of Hunan and southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region reported their first and only HFMD death on Wednesday, after health minister Chen Zhu put the national death toll at 26 on Tuesday.
In Hunan, a two-year-old girl in Shahe Village, Changde City died at 5:20 a.m. on Tuesday, despite medical treatment. She had tested positive for enterovirus 71 (EV71), the most deadly strain of the virus family that has been linked to fatal HFMD cases in China.
A three-year-old boy in Yulin City, Guangxi died on May 3 after having exhibited HFMD symptoms. Sample tests proving him EV71 positive were returned on Tuesday.
The outbreak of HFMD has led to fatalities mostly in the eastern province of Anhui, where 22 children died after having been infected with EV71. Three deaths were in the southern province of Guangdong, and one in east China's Zhejiang Province.
According to the latest statistics of Anhui provincial health bureau, 705 more cases were reported on Monday, driving up the total number to 6,545 in the province. Currently, 104 patients remain in critical conditions and 3,166 people have been released from hospital.
The disease spread across the province. In the worst hit Fuyang City, 1,391 children are now receiving treatment in hospital.
China's Ministry of Health sent a team of experts to Fuyang City and set up a virus lab there.
Tianjin reported 134 HFMD cases for the first time this year, vice director Zhang Guixiang of the municipal health bureau told a press conference on Wednesday morning .
"The patients were from 15 of the 18 districts and counties but no fatal or critical cases have been reported so far," Zhang said.
Among the patients, ranging in age from two months to 30 years, 113 were children below five years, or 84.3 percent of the total, Zhang said.
According to test results involving the latest 15 HFMD cases in Tianjin, five were EV71 positive and another five were Coxsackievirus (Cox A 16) positive.
Zhang said that HFMD occurred annually in the city, usually increasing starting in April and peaking in the summer.
The northwestern Qinghai Province also reported nine HFMD cases on Wednesday and confirmed the infections were not triggered by EV71 on the basis of medical tests.
The nine children were receiving treatment in a hospital in the provincial capital Xining. The spokesman of the Qinghai health bureau did not give any further details about the disease or the children.