While Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease is not uncommon in toddlers and children, the current outbreak in China is gaining international attention and concern. The reported number of infected children, all of which are below the age of 6, increased dramatically Monday. State-run media had initially said 6,300 children were infected, but reports from other provinces increased the number by more than 2,000.
The worst-hit area is a Province called Anhul in rural, eastern China. The state has sent health officials and medical assistance there. The outbreak there started in March, and 22 children have since died. Authorities say they have closed schools and kindergartens, and they have began spraying disinfectants in the streets. Meanwhile, hospitals are becoming over-crowded with extra beds lining the hallways.