HFMD Claims Its Ninth Victim In Sarawak
April 04, 2006 17:50 PM
KUCHING, April 4 (Bernama) – The hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has claimed the life of a 16-month-old boy from Miri, bringing the death toll to nine so far, despite a declining trend in new cases reported in Sarawak.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said Tuesday the latest victim died at 2.30pm today after he was admitted to the Miri Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) in critical condition last Saturday.
“The boy already had a number of fits when he was sent to the hospital. It is very sad as I wonder why the parents only sought treatment very late, especially when he is staying in Miri town itself and could have been saved,” he told a news conference on the daily HFMD updates here.
Dr Chan, who is also the State Disaster and Relief Management Committee chairman, said the nine children who had succumbed to the disease were admitted under stressful condition, with neurological signs, while those who came early for treatment survived.
Three of the nine fatalities reported since the HFMD outbreak was first detected in Sibu in February had been confirmed to be Enterovirus 71 (EV71) positive.
Dr Chan said the Sarawak Health Department, which was focusing on active case detection in the 1,598 kindergartens, day-care centres and pre-schools which re-opened Monday, had inspected 195 of the premises.
However, the department would only decide on whether to shut down 24.4 per cent of the 195 inspected premises which suspected to have HFMD cases tomorrow as these cases had yet to be confirmed, he said.
He said 13 of the 37 localities that had been issued closure orders as a preventive measure were also suspected to have HFMD cases.
On the daily updates, he said Sarawak had reported a total of 7,858 infected children so far, with 129 new cases detected in the last 24 hours.
There were 15 new admissions today, compared with 31 yesterday, and 39 HFMD patients were still in the wards compared with 89 yesterday.
On proactive steps taken to prevent the spread of HFMD to the rural areas, he said the people had been alerted, especially through the electronic media, with health services being provided by the Flying Doctors Service.