Sarawak: 8,440 mild HFMD cases reported this year

KUCHING, July 12 ― A total of 8,440 Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) cases have been reported in Sarawak as of June 27 this year, but all are categorised as mild, with 368 cases admitted to hospital, but no death was reported.

Sarawak Health Director Datu Dr. Zulkifli Jantan said 616 disease clusters were reported, with most involving family clusters, followed by 66 preschools/kindergarten clusters, 17 child care centres and six involving primary school clusters.

He said Kuching division recorded the highest number of HFMD with 2,200 cases, followed by Miri (1,507), Sibu (1,386), and Samarahan (771).

"The divisions which show increasing trend are Kuching, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri," he said in a statement which was faxed to Bernama.

Last May, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam was reported as saying that HFMD cases would escalate every three years and the highest number was in 2012, with 34,519 cases and one death.

As of January until April 11, this year, he said 13,497 cases were reported nationwide or an average of 964 cases a week, with the highest number recorded in Sarawak, at 6,333 cases, followed by Selangor (2,727), Johor (919), Kuala Lumpur (661), Perak (642) and Sabah (593).

Dr Zulkifli advised the public, especially those with young children, to maintain cleanliness of their houses, child care centers, kindergartens or school surrounding, and not to share personal items, like toothbrush, handkerchiefs, towels, blankets, cups, forks and spoons.

He said to reduce the risks of getting infected, parents should wash their hands with soap and clean water after using the toilet, before preparing food, after changing diaper and washing faeces of children.

He said children who showed signs and symptoms of infection should not be sent to child care centres and kindergartens or schools, but should be brought to clinic immediately examination. ― Bernama

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