Sarawak sees increase in HFMD cases

KUCHING (Bernama) – There was a sharp increase in the number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases in Sarawak, with 615 cases reported during the first three weeks of this year compared to 112 cases during the corresponding period last year.

State Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim said 77 per cent of the cases involved children under the age of three and 42 cases were admitted to ward because of dehydration caused by wounds in the mouth.

In a statement issued yesterday, she said three divisions recorded more than 100 cases, namely Miri (143), Kuching (111) and Sibu (102).

For the period from January 1-19, he said, 44 HFMD clusters were reported, involving 31 incidents at private homes, nine involving pre-schoolers and four at child care centres.

He said so far, four preschools and child care centres had been instructed to close to prevent the spread of the disease.