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Beijing Suspends 2 Kindergartens over HFMD Infections

Two kindergartens in Beijing were temporarily shut down Tuesday after children showed symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD).

The number of children infected in the kindergartens, in Chaoyang District and Haidian District respectively, has not been confirmed and the sick are being examined to find out what kind of virus triggered the outbreak, according to Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Beijing has recorded at least 1,482 cases of HFMD by Monday, of which 818 were in kindergartens.

HFMD usually breaks out from May to July in Beijing over the past years, and more infections are expected in the next couple of months in the majority in kindergartens, said Wu Jiang, an expert with the center.

However, the current situation is still normal and people should not panic as there are preventive measures, said Wu.

The number of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) cases reported in China this year rose to 12,164 as of Tuesday, resulting in 26 deaths.

HFMD is caused by more than one type of virus, such as EV71 and Coxsackie A16, but has similar symptoms, and most of the cases involve young children. It can prove fatal, and there is no vaccine.

(Xinhua News Agency May 7,2008)

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