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Cablegate: South China Ev 71 Update - Hfmd Cases Increase, Though Rate

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGZ #0289/01 1430645
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220645Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7179
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNARFC/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
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 000289

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
STATE FOR EAP/CM, OES/IHA, MED, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER AND ABDOO
HHS PASS TO FIC/NIH GLASS
CDC FOR NCID MOUNTS AND OGHA BLOUNT
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS (OSTA AND OCRA), FSIS
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID
BEIJING FOR HHS, CDC AND RMO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CASC SOCI PREL HHS CH
SUBJECT: South China EV 71 Update - HFMD Cases Increase, Though Rate
of Infection is Slowing

REF: A) Beijing 1765, B) Guangzhou 0250, C) Beijing 1726, D)
Guangzhou 0265

1. (U) Summary: The number of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)
infections in south China continues to rise, though authorities
claim that the pace is slowing. In the past two weeks, Guangdong's
reported HFMD cases have risen to 23,278, resulting in seven deaths.
The current number has far surpassed original predictions of around
10,000 cases by year's end (ref B). Fujian and Guangxi have not
released updated data on infections in the past week and a half.
Cases in Hainan province number 654, with no new deaths. End
Summary.

-------------------------------------------
Guangdong - Infections Increase, Rate Slows
-------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) As of May 20, Guangdong has reported a total of 23,278 HFMD
infections. According to Huang Fei, Deputy Director of the
Guangdong Health Department, a total of 21 cities and 119 counties
in Guangdong have reported HFMD cases, of which Guangzhou, Shenzhen,
Foshan, Dongguan, and Maoming are among the most affected. Of the
reported cases, 203 have been confirmed as EV 71 infections, up from
63 as of May 12. Only those patients who have made specific
requests, or those cases deemed to be 'critical,' are tested for EV
71 due to a lack of capacity and available reagents. Thus far, the
hand, foot, and mouth disease outbreaks have lead to seven deaths
(two in Foshan and one each in Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Maoming,
Dongguan and Meizhou). Authorities have confirmed that six of the
deaths were caused by EV 71 infections.

3. (SBU) Statistically, 88.9% of the cases reported in Guangdong are
children five years-old and younger.
Although the numbers of cases are increasing, according to Deputy
Director Huang, the latest figures suggest that the rate of
infection is slowing. Huang said daily reports indicate that the
HFMD infection rate reached its peak on May 8. Guangdong CDC
officials are hopeful that the number of cases will not reach 30,000
by the end of the year. Zhang also said that health authorities
have not detected any new mutations or variations in the EV 71
strain during this year's outbreaks.

--------------------------------------------- ----
Guangxi and Fujian - Lack of Up-To-Date Reporting
--------------------------------------------- ----

4. (SBU) Updated HFMD statistical data in both Guangxi and Fujian
provinces have not been released to the public in almost two weeks.
According to the Guangxi Center for Disease Control (CDC), Disease
Control Division Chief Geng, the lack of up-to-date reporting is
largely due to the involvement of relevant officials in Sichuan's
earthquake relief efforts. As of May 9, Guangxi had reported 636
cases, including two deaths. He assured us that the HFMD situation
in Guangxi is stable, and stated that the media has placed an undue
amount of attention on this annually occurring disease. Geng claims
that the reason the disease is so prevalent this year is because of
the high incidence of infection in rural areas, where residents lack
sufficient access to medical care. Currently, Guangxi has
designated 127 hospitals to care for HFMD infections.

5. (U) As of May 10, Fujian has reported 1441 cases of HFMD, and no
deaths. Fujian has reported that 16 of those cases are linked to EV
71, while another 4 cases are linked to Coxsakie Virus (Cox A16),
another virus causing hand, foot, and mouth disease that is often
asymptomatic in adults.

---------------------
Hainan - Three Deaths
---------------------

6. (U) As of May 19, Hainan authorities have documented 1,100 HFMD

cases up from 654 confirmed one week ago, including three deaths.
Of these, 46 cases have been identified as EV 71 infections.

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

GOLDBERG

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