Deadly China Virus Not Seen as Olympic Threat

But cases are expected to rise with warm weather
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 5, 2008 7:10 AM CDT
Parents of a 2-year-old who has contracted the intestinal virus identified as enterovirus 71 listen as doctors consult each other at a Chinese hospital Sunday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The outbreak of a deadly virus in China hasn’t peaked yet—but it won’t affect the Beijing Games, a World Health Organization rep said. “I don't see it at all as a threat to the Olympics or any upcoming events,” he noted. Enterovirus 71 has killed 24 children and infected thousands, the Guardian reports. But the highest volume of cases is usually seen in June and July, WHO said.

The Chinese government is working to contain the virus, closing nurseries and spraying disinfectant; it is credited with cutting the fatality rate from 11% in March to .2%. Two more children died this weekend from the disease, but the WHO attributed it to separate outbreaks rather than the illness spreading.