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Common childhood illness rages across Asia
“It’s worrying,” he said in his office. “We need to think about a vaccine. It will help, especially for the EV-71.”
In a unit on the other side of the building, the dedicated father, Trung, sits on the edge of a bed fanning Giang, who probably caught the disease from a mildly ill cousin who was staying with them at the time.
Giang was just 13 months old when he began burning hot with fever. He didn’t seem overly sick and continued to play, so his parents believed it was a bug that would quickly pass. By morning, the baby was purple and convulsing. His lungs were shutting down.
Now the boy can sit, and he occasionally musters a quick smile. But he remains lethargic, with tubes running out of his nose and throat. Trung had to quit his job to help his wife care for the child 24 hours a day in the hospital, which is common in many parts of Asia where nursing staff is thin.
“This is a very serious disease, and it can result in very serious health consequences,” Trung said. “People need to be very cautious and they need to strengthen surveillance to try to prevent the disease.”
Associated Press writer Gillian Wong contributed to this report from Hunan, China.
Follow Margie Mason at http://www.twitter.com/margiemasonap
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