In response to an increase in cases of hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD), Beijing Children’s Hospital is expanding its clinic area. The hospital, the city’s only dedicated to children, currently treats 50% of the non-adult patients in Beijing. From the beginning of the at-risk summer season in May, Beijing Children’s Hospital diagnoses from 2,000 to 3,000 new HFMD cases each week. These numbers are even higher than last year, reflecting a 90% increase in total cases according to the Beijing Health Bureau.
The influx of new cases demonstrates the highly infectious nature of the virus and the speed with which it can spread among nursery- and elementary school-age children. No vaccine currently exists, so it is especially important to focus on prevention by washing your hands as HFMD has a three to seven day incubation period. Xi Hui of the Beijing Health Bureau advises, “if you find your kids have a fever and painful sores appear in the mouth or throat, you should take your kids to hospital as soon as possible.”
To read more about HFMD and Beijing Children’s Hospital’s new clinic check out China Daily’s article here.