A deadly virus spreading through several regions in China is worrying residents in Beijing. EV71, which attacks the intestines, is infecting mainly small children. Here's more from Beijing.
Health authorities are battling to contain the virus that has already killed 23 children in Fuyang city, in China's eastern Anhui province. local media says that three more have died in southern Guangdong. More than 8,500 people have been infected, most of them small children.
Chinese authorities are trying to control the virus in Beijing by shutting down schools and kindergartens. But parents like Mrs. Sha are still worried.
[Mrs. She, Beijing Resident]:
"I'm afraid of cross infections. There are so many children in public places. If my child touches toys in places touched by other children, there are chances that he will be infected. So I'm worried about that."
The virus has also been linked to outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease across other provinces. According to the U.S. National Centre for Infectious Diseases cases of hand foot and mouth caused by EV71 will result in viral meningitis and death. The disease spreads mostly through contact with infected blisters or feces. Symptoms include high fever, paralysis and swelling of the brain. There is no vaccine or antiviral agent available for EV71.