Second wave of HFMD in Sarawak


Thursday August 10, 2006

Second wave of HFMD in Sarawak

KUCHING: The presence of the human enterovirus 71 (EV71) in the second wave of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreak in Sarawak continues to pose a danger to the public, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said.

According to him, seven of the 11 fatal cases from whom samples had been obtained tested positive for EV71.

The last three deaths in Miri division all tested positive for EV71, he added in a statement yesterday.

A four-year-old boy from Miri died on Tuesday, bringing the number of fatalities to 13.

Dr Chan said the outbreak was beginning to show a downward trend with 326 cases reported in the week ending Aug 5 compared with 430 in the previous week.

However, he advised the public, especially parents of young children, to remain vigilant because of the presence of EV71.

I would like to remind families to monitor the health of their children and impose self-quarantine at home if they are ill, he said.

This means they should keep their children at home and not send them to school, kindergarten or public gatherings if they are not well.

They should also seek medical advice early if their children have fever or rashes.

In addition, pre-school operators should check all children for fever, mouth ulcers or rashes on their hands and feet before allowing them to enter the premises.

Meanwhile, three kindergartens in Miri were closed for two weeks from Tuesday because HFMD cases were detected in their premises.

They are Tadika Bina Hikmah and Tadika Bintang Ria Q Dees in Krokop and Tabika Perpaduan in Tudan.

A total of 58 new cases were reported yesterday, including 18 in Miri division and 15 in Kuching.