Facial paralysis may target soccer fans

BEIJING - Hospitals in Beijing are receiving more patients since the beginning of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, the Beijing Morning Post reported Thursday.

According to a facial nerve hospital in Beijing, the number of patients with facial paralysis is 20 per cent higher than usual, and is increasing as Euro 2012 continues, the paper said.

People who stay up to watch football games are prone to the condition, said a doctor at the Beijing Yijiyuan Facial Neurology Academy, which conducts research and therapy for facial nerve diseases.

People become vulnerable to the virus when they are tense and fatigued after watching the football games, the doctor said.

The Beijing Emergency Medical Center issued a notice on Wednesday, warning that people with chronic diseases should not watch intense matches and should be prepared with first-aid medicines.

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