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HFMD toll rises to 43
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A 22-month-old girl from Ganzhou, a city in east China's Jiangxi Province, died of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) in a hospital on Thursday, health officials said.

Her death took the national toll from HFMD, an epidemic disease that mainly affects children, to 43.

The Jiangxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday confirmed that lab work showed the girl had been infected with enterovirus 71 (EV71).

The child was from a village in Wudang Township, Longnan County. It was not immediately known when she fell ill.

There have been 1,424 HFMD cases in Jiangxi this year, of which 90 were determined to be caused by EV71. Three other HFMD patients in the province were said to be in critical condition.

According to the Ministry of Health, HFMD can be caused by a host of intestinal viruses, but EV71 and the Coxsackievirus (Cox A16) were the most common.

HFMD usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet. Those with EV71 often show serious symptoms. It can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, pulmonary edema and paralysis in some children. There is no vaccine.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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