- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

HANOI, VIETNAM (AP) - Vietnam says an ongoing outbreak of a common childhood virus has killed 11 and sickened more than 12,000 mostly under 3-year-olds this year.

The Health Ministry says the infection rate of the hand, foot and mouth disease from January 1 to March 9 was seven times higher than the same period a year ago and is expected to rise further in coming months.

The ministry on Wednesday urged provincial governments to increase efforts to fight the disease including strengthening hygiene in kindergartens.

Last year, the disease sickened more than 110,000 and killed 166, mostly children under 5.

The common disease typically causes little more than a fever and rash. No vaccine exists.