Sarawak hand, foot, mouth disease under control

SIBU: The hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreak that started in Sarawak early this month is now under control. State Minister of Environment and Public Health Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh said on Thursday that it was no longer a cause for alarm because all the preventive measures had been successfully carried out.

A total of 6,814 cases of children being affected with the diseases had been reported, he said when launching the Global Handwashing Campaign jointly organised by LifeBuoy of the Unilever Malaysia company and the See Hua Group here.

Among others, Kuching accounted for the most with 2,480 cases, followed by Miri with 1,072, Bintulu (884), Sibu (758) and Kota Samarahan (425). During the outbreak, 848 children were hospitalised but all had been discharged except for 25 who were still under observation, he said, adding that there was only one confirmed fatality. Meanwhile, Unilever Malaysia general sales manager for East Malaysia Rodney Wong said his company was targeting at least 50,000 children for the campaign nationwide.

He said Sibu was chosen as the first destination for the monthlong campaign after its Kuala Lumpur launch on Oct 15 because of the HFMD outbreak here.

"We want to educate the society that good hygiene starts with washing hands with soap. Good hygiene can reduce the transmission and consequences of diseases, especially to young children," he said. Bernama

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