New Delhi, May 1 : A Chinese health official has warned that the intestinal virus Enterovirus 71 (EV71), which has claimed the lives of 20 children and infected more than 1,800 others in Fuyang, Anhui province, will "probably continue spreading" in the coming months.
Chen Xianyi, an official from the Ministry of Health in charge of emergency response, said that though no new fatalities from the virus had occurred in the past five days, the number of children affected has increased to 1,884.
"The disease will probably continue spreading in the next two or three months as it is a prime period for epidemics," the China Daily quoted Xianyi as saying during a news conference.
The infection starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and on the hands and feet.
It can cause high fever, meningitis, encephalitis, pulmonary oedema, and paralysis in children.
The Anhui provincial health bureau said that about 540 hospitalised children affected by the outbreak in Fuyang were in stable condition, and recovering well.