Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease Outbreak in Northeast China

By Fang Xiao, Epoch Times
August 28, 2009 4:15 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 9:28 pm
CONCERN: A 2-year-old reports for a check-up with suspicious symptoms. (Getty Images)
CONCERN: A 2-year-old reports for a check-up with suspicious symptoms. (Getty Images)

Nearly ten children have allegedly died in a hand, foot, and mouth Ddsease (HFMD) outbreak in China's northeast city of Gongzhuling, Jilin Province, according to a resident there. However, the local regime has not sounded an alarm despite the severity of the situation.

The disease started to spread in Gongzhuling in August, after mainland media reported an HFMD outbreak in central and eastern China in May, and in neighboring Heilongjiang Province in June.

A local resident, who does not want to be named, told the Epoch Times that many large kindergartens announced indefinite closures, only reopening several days ago after the holidays. Many of the infected children have been sent to hospitals in nearby Changchun as local hospitals are full.

Another local resident reported that staff from the local infectious disease office warned of the seriousness of the outbreak saying, “About 10 children have died from the disease.”

An Epoch Times reporter made phone calls to Gongzhuling Municipal Health Bureau. One female staff member confirmed three deaths and 730 current admissions due to the disease according to the Bureau’s information at the time.

“The weather in August is very hot, and the population is very mobile, so the disease has spread quite fast,” the official said, adding that the Bureau had ordered all kindergartens to close.

However, no official report regarding the outbreak could be found on the regime’s official Web site—nor do the local media report on this issue, according to local residents.

Some residents also revealed the hospitals reported some of the diagnoses as herpangina instead of HFMD. The residents suspected that this was the result of pressure from the regime to disguise the number of victims.

A resident said almost all the children have the same symptoms—first, a high fever, then redness and festering in the roof of the mouth, followed by the development of a red rash on the fingers and feet.

Some parents also complained that primary schools have not instituted any preventive measures. For example, all students still eat their lunches together.

“I personally think that the elementary schools should also be closed, as the situation is severe and several kids have died,” one parent said.

Read the original Chinese article.