Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Be careful out there.

This is a bit scary:

Enterovirus 71 (Ev71) Outbreak In Central China
American citizens are advised of an ongoing outbreak in China of an
intestinal virus called enterovirus 71, or EV71. This virus causes a variant of
hand, foot, and mouth disease. There are no specific precautions for this other
than the general hygiene recommendations for living in China.

Over 3300
cases and at least 22 deaths have been reported in Fuyang City in Anhui
Province. All of the deaths were children less than 6 years old and most were
under 2 years of age. A few additional cases have been confirmed in Hangzhou
City in Zhejiang Province. Hubei Province and Hong Kong have also reported a few
cases.

The symptoms of EV 71 are similar but more severe than the common
hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). Typically, it starts with a generalized
illness, poor appetite, and sore throat, followed by a fever, rashes on the
hands, feet, and buttocks along with mouth ulcers. HFMD is often confused with
foot-and-mouth disease of cattle, sheep, and swine. Although the names are
similar, the two diseases are not related at all and are caused by different
viruses.

Infection is spread from person to person by direct contact
with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of
infected persons. A person is most contagious during the first week of the
illness. HFMD is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals.

For
more information here are some useful links at the U.S. CDC:

HFMD page:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/enterovirus/hfhf.htm

Non-polio
enteroviruses
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/enterovirus/non-polio_entero.htm

Viral ?aseptic? meningitis
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/enterovirus/viral_meningitis.htm

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