Deadly virus hits China's children

News of another child death brings toll from outbreak of enterovirus to 21.

    The virus has infected nearly 2,500 children and stretched medical resources [GALLO/GETTY]

    Hospitals have been inundated with sufferers and corridors have had to be converted into wards.

     

    The cause of the outbreak is not known.

     

    The infection causes hand, foot and
    mouth disease [GALLO/GETTY]

    Enteroviruses are spread mostly through contact with infected blisters or faeces and can cause high fever, paralysis and swelling of the brain or its lining.


    There are no vaccines or antiviral agents available to treat or prevent the virus, but health officials say simple hygiene steps can prevent it spreading.

     

    The delay in reporting the virus to the public has triggered heated debate and criticism in the Chinese media, which said local government officials should be sacked.


    In 2002 Chinese officials were accused of dragging their feet in reporting the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

     

    The virus spread around the world killing more than 500, although most of the deaths were in mainland China and Hong Kong.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.