KUCHING: As of 5 September, 2018 the state recorded a total of 7,023 cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).
According to Director of State Health Department Dr Jamilah Hashim the total number of cases from 1 January to 5 September showed a slight increase compared to the same period last year.
“Last year, the state recorded a total of 6,859 HFMD cases but if we observe from the weekly statistics, for the past two weeks, the number of cases has decreased.
“It shows that from 19 August to 25 August 2018, a total of 255 cases were recorded while from 26 August to1 September 2018, there was a decreasing pattern of cases which recorded a total of 196 cases,” she said.
Jamilah said as HFMD is endemic in Sarawak, staffers in the child care centres are quite familiar and used to measures to prevent HFMD contamination in child care centres.
“For example, they would clean surfaces to prevent contamination and also do ‘gate keeping activity’ by checking the children’s hands, feet and mouth before they can enter the facility.
“If they found any sign of HFMD such as ulcer or rashes on the children, they will ask the children to go home and get treatment,” she said when met by reporters after officiating at the Malaysian Wound Ostomy and Continence Care Seminar 2018 at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar here, yesterday.
She also said that the message from the department to parents with small children at this time is to avoid frequenting places such as children playground in malls as the toys inside there could be contaminated through saliva or fluid from children with mouth ulcers who are infected with HFMD.
“Such hygiene is not only for the children but also important to adults especially the hand hygiene.
“If you are from outside, upon reaching home, please make sure you wash your hands first before holding your children,” she stressed.