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HFMD death toll at 44 in Shandong
Updated: 2009-07-07 16:11

JINAN: Another child died of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) over the past week in eastern China's Shandong Province, bringing the toll from this year's outbreak to 44 in the worst-affected province, provincial health authorities said Tuesday.

The new death occurred in the week from June 29 to July 5, during which the province reported 6,919 new HFMD cases. Of those cases, 2,944 required hospitalization and 245 were serious.

The local health authorities said from January 1 to July 5, Shandong reported 85,301 HFMD cases. So far, 78,831 patients have recovered.

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Hospitals in the province were ordered to reserve enough beds and other resources to prepare for a massive outbreak and public awareness campaigns are in progress.

HFMD is a common illness that mainly affects children under the age of 10. It usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet. It is spread through contact with the saliva or feces of the infected.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment, but most children affected by the disease recover quickly.

May and July are peak periods for the disease.