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Thousands of children sick due to tainted milk in China.

Tainted milk has been cited as the cause of a rash of illness found amongst children in China over the past two weeks.

CNN reports that 12,892 children throughout China have fallen ill due to melamine- tainted formula powder. That number is more than double the original 6,200 reported by the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency. According to CNN, 104 of those affected exhibit serious symptoms while another 1,579 have been cured and discharged from health care facilities.

Cases of the sickness have apparently spread outside of mainland China, worrying officials that the problem may not be as contained as originally thought. The BBC reports that a three-year-old in Hong Kong, who developed a kidney stone after drinking the powder, is the first such case.

CNN reports that four infants are confirmed dead due to the tainted milk, all of which drank formula produced by the Sanlu Group. Traces of melamine were first found in the formula powder of this company but now, the BBC reports, melamine has been found in dairy products produced by 22 different companies.

According to the BBC 18 individuals have been arrested in connection with the tainted milk scandal. Authorities believe suppliers added melamine, a banned chemical usually used in plastic production, to the nutrient-poor milk in order to make it appear like it contained more protein.