Beijing : The toll in China’s hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) rose to 28 Wednesday with the number of infected going past 16,000, according to a Xinhua tally based on official figures from different parts of the country.
In the worst-hit province of Anhui in the east, the total number of infections stood at 6,545.
Of the 28 dead, 22 were in Anhui and three in Guangdong, with the rest in Zhejiang, Guangxi, and Hunan, respectively.
Some 104 patients remained in critical condition and 3,166 have been released from hospital.
HFMD, an intestinal infection caused by enterovirus 71 (EV71), mostly affects children up to six years of age.
The health ministry made it mandatory for all provincial governments to report cases of HFMD infection or death from the infection.
The epidemic has spread to nearly 20 provinces across the country.