If there’s going to be a deadly intestinal virus outbreak in central China, you can pretty much bet it’s going to happen in Fuyang. The Anhui city, near the border with Henan province, has something of a history of unwholesome happenings.
So, there were no surprises when a CER colleague sent me a link about the recent Enterovirus 71 (EV71) outbreak. EV71 is a variant of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), but with more severe symptoms:
Typically, it starts with a generalized illness, poor appetite, and sore throat, followed by a fever, rashes on the hands, feet, and buttocks along with mouth ulcers.
State media reports that there are now over 15,000 cases of HFMD in China, resulting in 26 deaths. In Yunnan province there are 113 cases, Jiangxi has 114 and Shanghai municipality has reported 1,988.
In Fuyang, EV71 has infected 3,300 people and caused 22 deaths.
Remember 2004’s fake milk powder scandal that killed 15 babies? That was Fuyang.
And last month, the city government’s “white house” (do we mean Capitol building?) made news. At a glance, we’d guess some dubious sources of income may have been involved. A whistle-blower on the project mysteriously died in prison. The central government is investigating.
“Fuyang is the most luan place I know,” our Chinese teacher from Anhui told us. “The government, the people, the mafia … just go to the train station and you’ll know what I’m talking about.”
We may take a rain check on that one.
Danwei: Darkness in the “White House”