Sarawak on alert over rising viral disease cases
KUCHING (Bernama) – The Sarawak Health Department today sounded the alarm over the rising cases of three viral diseases in January in the state and called on the public to take the necessary precaution.
Two deaths were reported due to dengue fever, which is now at the epidemic level in the state, while cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) increased by nearly three-fold – from 287 cases in January last year to 723 cases for the same period this year.
“As at Jan 29, 12 confirmed cases of Influenza A(H1N1) had been reported compared to only 12 confirmed cases for the whole of 2012,” the State Local Government and Community Development Ministry’s permanent secretary, Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil, said yesterday.
In the case of dengue, he said, the two deaths reported in Kuching and Bintulu and the overall number of those infected had shot up to 219 persons last month from a mere 65 cases in January last year.
He said seven dengue outbreak areas had also been identified in the state, with two each in Kuching and Bintulu, and one each in Sibu, Limbang and Lawas.
On HFMD, Dr Penguang said 90 people infected by the disease had to be admitted while two schools were closed.
“The divisions which reported most of the cases are Miri (173 cases), Kuching (125), Sarikei (81) and Samarahan (73),” he said.
Meanwhile, four persons were hospitalised due to influenza A(H1N1) but were subsequently discharged during the period.
Dr Penguang advised public members to practise better hygiene and maintain the cleanliness of their premises and to seek immediate treatment should they developed symptoms associated to the diseases.