The China Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of a enterovirus 71 (EV71) inactivated vaccine (human diploid cell) designed by the Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

Ulcerous herpangina on soft palete and oropharynx from Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) Public domain image/shawn c
Ulcerous herpangina on soft palete and oropharynx from Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
Public domain image/shawn c

The vaccine for children effectively reduce the incidence of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), in particular reducing severe and fatal cases of the disease, according to a FDA news release Thursday (computer translated).

The breakthrough vaccine, no kind found foreign or domestic, was found safe and effective in clinical trials on tens of thousands of subjects. It showed a protection rate of 97.3% against EV71.

HFMD caused by all types in China during the first 10 months of 2015 revealed a total of 1,767,931 cases, 114 deaths to date.

Elsewhere in Asia, as of 18 November, there were 377,483 cases of HFMD reported in Japan for 2015. The most frequently identified viruses were Coxsackie virus A16 and A6.

As of 21 November, a total of 25,148 cases of HFMD have been reported in Singapore for 2015, higher than the number of cases reported in 2014 (n=19,595), for the same reporting period.

As of 8 November 2015, there were 48,723 cases of HFMD reported in VietNam including 6 deaths reported in 62 of the 63 provinces and municipalities. Compared with the same period in 2014, the cumulative number of reported cases is 30.1% lower (n=69,678).

HFMD is typically a benign and self-limiting disease. Most common in young children, it presents as fever, orallesionsand rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. The oral lesions consist of rapidly-ulcerating vesicles on the buccal mucosa, tongue, palate and gums. The rash consists of papulovesicular lesions on the palms, fingers and soles, which generally persist for seven to 10 days, and maculopapular lesions on the buttocks.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus (group). This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses.

EV-71 has been implicated in HFMD outbreaks in Southeast Asia over the several years. EV 71 is a non-polio enterovirus.

Complications associated with HFMD caused by the more pathogenic EV-71 strain include encephalitis, aseptic meningitis, acute flaccid paralysis, pulmonary edema or hemorrhage and myocarditis. Most deaths in HFMD occur as a result of pulmonary edema or hemorrhage.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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