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China to Send More Medical Experts to Anhui

More medical experts will be sent to China's east Anhui Province to assist local hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) relief work, according to Chen Zhu, Minister of Health on Tuesday.

More than 15,799 HFMD cases have been reported in ten provinces and municipalities in China this year, which has so far led to 26 deaths, with 22 in Anhui Province, 3 in Guangdong and 1 in Zhejiang.

Chen called for more efforts to bring the disease under control in Fuyang City of Anhui Province, where the disease outbreak claimed 22 children's lives and infected 4,496 since March 20.

To curb the spread of the disease, primary schools and kindergartens should have daily morning checks, and large-scale group activities should be reduced, he said.

Chen also suggested two to three weeks' closure for kindergartens where more than one serious case or fatality is reported, or more than two HFMD cases are found.

Most HFMD cases were caused by the virus called enterovirus 71, or EV71. The disease usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet.

(Xinhua News Agency May 7, 2008)

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