False epidemic outbreak rumors refuted

Updated: 2007-05-13 18:37

The Public Health Department in east China's Shandong Province has issued a statement denying media reports claiming that several children died from an unknown disease in Linyi city on May 11.

It posted a clarification on its official website, saying a two year old girl had died from an outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease in Linyi.

The girl was taken to see a doctor at a hospital after she developed a fever and started vomiting on April 27. Two days later, her condition deteriorated and she was admitted to hospital. Doctors confirmed a diagnosis of hand-foot-mouth disease but say they were too late to save her life.

After the girl died, the local health bureau took emergency action to contain the spread of the disease, quarantining anyone infected with the disease, and informing kindergartens and schools of the threat.

The Public Health Department said there have been no further deaths. It urged the public not to believe the rumors.

Hand-foot-mouth disease is a common childhood illness with symptoms that include mouth ulcers, sores, fever and a skin rash. The disease is highly contagious and transmitted through saliva, air or skin contact. It can be fatal if complications occur.

The Public Health Department said the disease can be cured with proper treatment.

The Ministry of Health said it has not received an reports of an epidemic from its subordinate in Shandong province.

Ministry Spokesman Mao Qun'an said the news released by authorized institutions is the most credible.

The Ministry of Health has declared the rumors that several children died from an unknown disease on May 11 untrue. It has asked the Shandong Province Public Health Department to refute the rumors.

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