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Cablegate: Enterovirus 71 Outbreak - South China Infections and Death

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGZ #0265/01 1300920
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD8EB353 MSI5410-695)
R 090920Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7145
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNARFC/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/ISA/AP//
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC//J2/J3/J5//
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J2/J3/J5//
RHEFAFM/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD//MA-1A//

UNCLAS GUANGZHOU 000265

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
C O R R E C T E D COPY - ADDED CDC ATLANTA GA

STATE FOR EAP/CM, OES/IHA, MED, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
CDC FOR OGHA AND DIV-FLU
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP
HHS PASS TO FIC/NIH
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS (OSTA AND OCRA), FSIS
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID
BEIJING FOR HHS HEALTH ATTACHE AND RMO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CASC SOCI PREL HHS CH
SUBJECT: Enterovirus 71 Outbreak - South China Infections and Death
Toll Increasing

REF: A) Beijing 1765, B) Guangzhou 250, C) Beijing 1726

1. (SBU) Summary: Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has taken a
fourth life in Guangdong Province, and has infected more than 7,100
local children. Provincial health officials are working to
determine the incidence rate of EV 71 among HFMD cases. Guangxi has
reported two deaths among 636 cases of the disease. Hainan has also
reported two deaths, while the number of infections there has
reached 180. Fujian has not reported any deaths and the number of
cases remains unchanged at 503. End summary.

Guangdong Infections Passes 7,000
---------------------------------

2. (U) Guangdong Province reported a fourth infant death on May 8,
and health officials are conducting an autopsy in one suspected HFMD
death case. The new fatality occurred on May 5 after an 8-month old
girl was admitted to Dashi Hospital in the Panyu District of
Guangzhou. A feces screening test showed positive results for
Enterovirus 71 (EV 71), and was subsequently confirmed by the HFMD
expert team (ref B). A suspected case was reported in Dongguan,
where a 19-month-old boy died on May 6, but the cause of death has
not yet been confirmed. As of May 8, the number of HFMD cases in
Guangdong had reached 7,103, including 34 confirmed cases caused by
the EV 71 strain.

3. (SBU) According to He Jianfeng, Deputy Director General of the
Epidemic Disease Prevention Institute of Guangdong CDC, the province
is currently working to determine the percentage of cases linked to
EV 71, but difficulties with replenishing testing reagents, lack of
proper staff training, and a one-day delay for test results on
suspected EV 71 samples have been challenging the government's
efforts. Guangdong Department of Health designated three hospitals
-- the Guangdong Women and Children's Hospital, Pearl River
(Zhujiang) Hospital, and Guangzhou Children's Hospital -- to receive
HFMD patients transferred from other hospitals without ICU
facilities.

Guangxi Death Toll Reaches Two
------------------------------

4. (SBU) Guangxi authorities reported one new death on May 8,
increasing the total number of fatalities to two. The second death
occurred near Liuzhou city on May 6, after the child fell ill on May
3. The other victim came from Yulin, and Guangxi health officials
have responded by sending taskforces to both areas where deaths
occurred. The number of reported HFMD cases reached 636 on May 8.
Health Department Spokesman Chen Faqin said the increase in cases
from May 6 was due to better surveillance by health authorities
since new reporting requirements were implemented on May 2, as well
as a backlog of cases now being reported that were originally
detected on or before May 2. Guangxi's CDC Director told media that
EV 71 has been confirmed in 9 cases and described all HFMD cases so
far as sporadic, rather than part of an outbreak.

Hainan Province Also Reports Two Deaths
---------------------------------------

5. (U) Hainan Province reported two deaths among a total of 180
cases, as of May 7. Five cases have been confirmed as EV 71,
including the two deaths. Hainan health authorities activated a
comprehensive daily reporting system that will inform medical
personnel at each level of new cases.

Fujian Province - No Fatalities
-------------------------------

6. (U) Fujian reported 503 cases of HFMD on May 4 with no new
reports since then. Among the sick, 35 patients have been
hospitalized, with no reports of fatalities.

7. (U) Beijing Embassy ESTH has cleared this cable.

GOLDBERG

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