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Lethal Virus Spoils Summer for Taiwan Kids

<i> Associated Press</i>

Elementary schools across Taiwan started summer vacation a week early, but their newly freed charges have no place to go: Combating a virus that already has killed 52 children, summer camps won’t open this year, and swimming pools have barred all children younger than 14.

“I guess I will have to keep my three kids at home the entire summer and spend my days arbitrating their squabbles,” said one mother, Chen Mei Hua.

Panicked officials who failed to heed a doctor’s pleas to take action earlier are now making desperate attempts--through school, pool and camp closures--to halt the spread of the deadly intestinal virus, which also has sent 157 to the hospital.

As of Friday, the virus, identified as enterovirus 71, had killed 52 children in Taiwan. Another 157 were stricken seriously enough to require hospitalization.

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