JINAN, April 13 (Xinhua) -- One more child has died of hand-foot-mouth disease in Shandong, bringing to 19 the death toll in the eastern China province, according to health officials Monday.
The death occurred Sunday in Liaocheng City, the Shandong Provincial Health Department announced Monday, giving no details about the child.
The populous province has reported 17,158 cases of the contagious disease as of Sunday, 442 of which were severe and 12,046 have recovered, it said.
Heze, a city in Shandong's southwest, was the hardest-hit region with 15 deaths. Liaocheng and Jining reported two deaths each.
The local health authorities have ordered hospitals to reserve enough beds and other medical resources to prepare for any massive outbreaks of the disease.
The disease has killed 50 children nationwide this year as of April 7, a Health Ministry official said Friday, adding that a total of 115,000 cases had been reported.
The official said the disease was mainly reported in rural areas and nearly 80 percent of the total were in 10 provinces and autonomous regions including Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Guangxi and Zhejiang.
Hand-foot-mouth disease is a common childhood illness that mainly affects children under the age of 10. Symptoms include fever, sores in the mouth and a rash with blisters. It can sometimes be fatal if complications occur.