BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Almost 1 million people in China had been infected with hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) this year by Tuesday, and 537 had died while 15,501 were in critical condition, China's Health Ministry announced Thursday.
With HFMD in its peak season, May to July, the work of HFMD control and prevention was arduous and the ministry would continue to intensify monitoring of and precautions against the disease, said a statement from the ministry.
The ministry would also strengthen the treatment of patients and the training of grassroots medical staff in rural areas, it said.
Wang Zijun, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said HFDM was a common infectious disease, and was particularly infectious to children.
People infected with HFMD usually had minor symptoms, but in serious cases the disease could lead to complications such as encephalitis and pneumonia, he said.
People could be infected through close contact with excreta and respiratory secretions, among other ways, he said.