BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Ninety-four children had died of the hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) this year in China as of Sunday, a spokesman with the Ministry of Health said Wednesday.
More than 192,300 cases, including 2,119 serious cases, were reported in the country from Jan. 1 to April 11, a rise of almost 40 percent from the same period last year, ministry spokesman Deng Haihua told Xinhua.
About 80 percent of the cases happened in the provinces of Guangdong, Henan, Guangxi, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan and Shandong. The deaths occurred in 18 provinces, said Deng.
Spring was a high-risk period for HFMD, experts have warned.
The ministry announced Tuesday that it had started training medical workers in new HFMD diagnosis and treatment methods.
Clinical doctors, nurses, public health workers and health educators nationwide were all scheduled to receive training that took advanced international diagnostic methods and laid equal stress on Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
HFMD is a common illness that mainly affects children under the age of 10. It usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet. It is spread through contact with saliva or fecal matter.
Good personal hygiene, including washing hands often, is strongly recommended to prevent the disease.