Characterization of hand, foot, and mouth disease in China between 2008 and 2009.
ABSTRACT To investigate the epidemiological and clinical features of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) since several outbreaks of HFMD caused by enteroviruses were documented in China between 2007 and 2008.
HFMD cases reported to the National Infectious Disease Information Management System database between May 2008 and April 2009 were assessed. Clinical features in some of the severe and fatal cases were analyzed the etiology of the outbreaks was investigated.
89.1% of reported HFMD cases were found in children<5 year-old with an age-specific incidence rate of 834.1/100 000 in the first year as the notifiable disease in China from May 2008 to April 2009. The incidence, mortality and percentage of severe cases were studied for three regions of China and found to be highest in the central region. The incidence of severe cases and mortality in rural population were significantly higher than those in urban population. Among the laboratory confirmed EV17 positive cases there were 52.6% mild, 83.5% severe, and 96.1% fatal cases. More myoclonic jerks were found in the severe case group than in group that died. Tachypnea, lip purpling, pink foaming and low limb temperature occurred more frequently in the fatal cases than in the severe cases.
The epidemic of HFMD in China was characterized predominantly by EV71 infections, had relatively high mortality rates especially in the central region, and was most prevalent in young, rural populations.