Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease: China In Crises

814 words - 4 pages

There have been many epidemic outbreaks throughout history. Of course some outbreaks have been more serious than others, nevertheless they have all at one point or other caused havoc in certain or multiple regions. One infection in particular, hand, foot and mouth disease, also known as HFMD, triggered an outbreak in China in 2008. By reviewing the 2008 epidemic, can possibly help understand more about this infection by knowing information such as the description of the organism that causes the disease, a description of the mode of transmission and symptoms, and the important studies conducted during this outbreak.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is like any other disease, in that it originates from an organism. The cause is from a group of enteroviruses with the most common organism being from both the Coxsackievirus A16 and enterovirus 71. However, there are other organisms that can cause this illness that include Coxsackievirus subgroups A5, A7, A9, A10, B2, and B5. The organism enterovirus 71 (EV71) was the main cause related to the 2008 China outbreak. Although the mechanism of virulence factors for EV71 is unknown, a research group concluded that virulence of EV71 strains are mainly determined by the amino acids on two positions of VP1, one position of protease 2A and the nucleotides on three positions in 5'-NTR (Renqing et al). Because virulence factors are somewhat unknown, this makes it difficult for researchers in finding a cure.
Another issue is the mode of transmission of the disease which makes it difficult to suppress and is easily contagious among children. Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral infection that can involve the mouth, hands, feet, buttocks or genitalia. The main source of infection is due to oral ingestion and the disease is easily passed from person-to-person contact which may include: nasal secretions or throat discharge, saliva, stool, fluid from blisters, or from cough or sneeze. HFMD is easily seen as a viral infection, such as the flu, that affects infants and children more commonly so it is important to acknowledge the symptoms that could arise if a patient should become infected. Symptoms of the disease may consist of a fever, sore throat, malaise, painful blister-like abrasions on the tongue, gums or inside of the cheeks, a red rash, sometimes with blistering, on the soles of feet, palms of the hands, or buttocks, loss of appetite, and irritability in infants and toddlers. Typically the incubation time is 3 to 6...

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