HFMD Outbreak in Sarawak - Update

For Your Info.

From: HFMD Coordination Team

To: All Shell Malaysia Staff Date: 14th March 2006

Dear Colleague,

We write to update you on the outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in Sarawak and can advise:

As reported in today’s Borneo Post, Tuesday, 14 March
New Cases - 158 (Miri - 55; Sibu-45; Bintulu-27; Mukah-14)
Cumulative Total - 4,278


As part of our efforts to ensure that you are updated and informed about the HFMD outbreak in Sarawak, a health talk on HFMD will be held on Thursday, 16 March 2006 from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm in Miri’s Mulu Hall by an external expert. Staff and spouses from all businesses are welcome to attend this talk, which will be live linked to all EP locations and the SMDS facility in Bintulu. Please contact your local Corporate Affairs focal point for futher information or Miri-based Harry Ng for video conferencing details.

A similar briefing will be held in Shell House, Damansara Heights, for KL based staff early next week. Details for this event will be forwarded shortly.

HFMD Q’s & A’s

Frequently asked questions are now available at this url for your further reading.


A Shell Malaysia web-page at http://sww-knowledge-epa.shell.com/know … ction=Open has been set up. Information and updates are available at this site.


Following an earlier report in the same paper on a temporary travel ban, the Sarawak State Health Department has clarified that children under 10 yrs old are discouraged rather than banned from going to Peninsular Malaysia from Sarawak.

The Shell Group has issued the following travel advisory.

Travel Advice for Brunei and Sarawak, Malaysia

Brunei and the Malaysian state of Sarawak are currently experiencing an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HFMD).

HFMD is not considered to pose a major health risk to adults, who have often built up an immunity to the disease from previous exposure, and business travel to both Brunei and Sarawak may continue. Business travellers are, however, advised to be particularly careful with cleanliness and personal hygiene during their trip in order to prevent the infection from spreading.

Young children are more vulnerable to HFMD. Employees with children below 12 years of age who are due to take up assignments in Brunei or Sarawak in the near future should, therefore contact the International Transfer Desk for advice on whether it will be necessary to delay the transfer date of their family. More generally, employees are discouraged from bringing their children with them to Brunei and Sarawak at this time.

The Brunei and Sarawak State Governments have taken pro-active steps to break the chain of transmission for the virus and it is anticipated that the outbreak will be controlled within the next two to three weeks. In the meantime this travel advisory will be updated on a weekly basis.

Further information, including an outline of hygiene measures to prevent the infection from spreading, can be found on the Shell Health Services website http://sww-shs.shell.com/health/ but please contact Dr. Peter Tay or Dr. Nuing Jeluing, the Chief Medical Officers of BSP and Shell Malaysia respectively, should you have additional questions.

You will see from this Travel Advisory that whilst there is currently no restriction on business travel, incoming families with young children are being asked to defer their plans until the HFMD outbreak has ended.

It is important to note that this is a precautionary measure intended to ensure we do not add to the stress of transfers and the medical advice from Shell Health Services remains that:

  • the steps being taken to break the chain of transmission of the virus should be sufficient,

  • there is no medical justification for families with young children to leave Sarawak during the outbreak of HFMD.


It is important that the line of infection is broken and we must take personal and collective actions on this. Employees can help most by following the advice given in the previous EIs. That is by:

a) following the Shell Health Services personal hygiene advice,
b) keeping children away from social gatherings with other children until the end of the outbreak,
c) keeping a close watch on children to ensure/identify early any HFMD symptoms,
d) contacting your doctor as soon as you have reason to believe that you or one of your children has HFMD symptoms,
e) staying at home if you are confirmed to have HFMD and keeping children confirmed to have HFMD at home.

In addition, in the event that you are expecting visitors with young children, we would encourage you to postpone their visit until the situation normalises.

We will continue to keep you updated on the situation - in the meantime, please continue to abide by all guidelines and advice aimed at controlling the spread of the disease.

Wee Yiaw Hin
Malaysia LSEPR

Dr Nuing Jeluing
SHS Team Lead/CMO Shell Malaysia

Kindly forward your queries to:

Dr. Hanifah Bujang on ext : 085-45428

Dr. Ling King Chuong on ext : 086-331288

Atikah Basri on ext : 086-292450

Dr. Lee Chin Thang on ext : 03- 20912211