Sarawak to monitor HFMD cases over next few weeks


sharonling@thestar.com.my 

KUCHING: Sarawak will continue to monitor cases of the hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) over the next few weeks before declaring the outbreak over. 

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said this was to enable the state to compile baseline data on the normal level of cases when there is no outbreak of the disease, which is endemic in Sarawak. 

Over the past few weeks, the number of new HFMD cases in the state has dropped to below 20 daily with no serious cases reported. 

The cumulative total of cases this year currently stands at 14,237.  

Dr Chan showing some charts outlining HFMD cases in the Sarawak.

On Monday, 13 new cases were reported with six children admitted to hospital. 

Dr Chan said however that there was no data on what the normal level of cases was. 

“We want to watch the situation for a few more weeks to make sure that this is the level of endemic hand foot and mouth disease,” he told a press conference at his office here recently. 

He added that if the number of new cases continued to remain stable, the state would be able to establish the endemic level of the disease. 

“For example if the endemic level is three to four cases, next time we see three to four cases occurring we won’t panic as we will know it is not an outbreak,” he said. 

Dr Chan also said he would seek funding from the Health Ministry to conduct a study on the transmission of the disease.  

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