Two Beijing kindergartens were temporarily closed yesterday due to fears of the hand, foot and mouth disease that has already killed at least 26 children in China, Reuters reported. The number of infected children in the kindergartens has not been confirmed, and the sick are still being examined, the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention said. Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common illness in children and infants and outbreaks occur regularly in China. Recent outbreaks have been fatal, usually when linked to enterovirus 71 (EV71), which causes a more potent form of the disease. AP reported that the number of children infected with the disease is now 12,164 nationwide. Most of the deaths have occurred in Anhui and Guangdong provinces. Outbreaks have now been reported in Yunnan, Jilin and Hainan provinces. AFP reported that 10 doctors and officials have been punished for handling patients infected with the virus improperly. Two doctors at a hospital in Fuyang city, where 22 people died from EV71, were given demerits for merely giving a patient an intravenous drip without conducting a thorough examination.