Two deaths have been reported from an intestinal virus in south China's Guangdong Province, local authorities announced on Saturday evening.
The death of an 18-month-old boy on Friday in the Gaoming District of Foshan City was caused by hand, foot and mouth disease, triggered by the intestinal virus enterovirus 71 (EV71), the provincial health department said.
The boy fell ill on April 27, and test results for the virus were positive, according to a sample examination by the provincial disease prevention control center.
Another child who died in the district on April 25 also tested positive for EV71, it said. No details about that child have been released.
The health department set up a specialist team to direct the response to the disease. It also urged local bureaus to strictly follow the orders of the Health Ministry, strengthen medical emergency treatment and step up the training of medical staff.
EV71 can cause hand, foot and mouth disease, which usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet.
There has been a large outbreak of EV71 in Anhui Province, where the death toll in Fuyang city has risen to 22 since early March.
China has tallied 4,987 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease in the provinces of Anhui, Hubei and Shaanxi this year.
(Xinhua News Agency May 4, 2008)