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Tibet Reports 2 Suspected HFMD Cases

Two children in Lhasa were thought to have contracted hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), said a spokesman of the regional disease prevention and control center.

Symptoms of the contagious disease were displayed by a 5-year-old boy in a kindergarten in Lhasa on Sunday, said Rao Ruodeng, director of the regional disease prevention and control center on Tuesday.

The only information about the other case was the location, in Zhoulin County.

The children were receiving treatment in isolation wards and were both in stable condition.

"The health bureau has sent blood samples to the state disease prevention and control center for diagnosis," Rao said.

The kindergarten, where the 5-year-old had studied, had its classrooms and facilities sterilized to prevent further infection.

On May 16, a 22-month-old girl from Ganzhou, a city in the eastern Jiangxi Province, died of HFMD in a hospital, pushing up the national toll from HFMD to 43.

According to the Ministry of Health, HFMD, an epidemic disease that mainly affects children, 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 21, 2008)

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