Sunday, June 25, 2006

HFMD death toll up to 11 in Sarawak

NST: KUCHING: Another child has died from the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Sarawak.
The 16-month-old toddler, from Kampung Dagang in Marudi, succumbed to the disease at the Miri Hospital about 11pm on Friday.
He was evacuated by helicopter to the better-equipped Miri Hospital at noon that day, when he became critically ill.
With this, the death toll from HFMD in the State stands at 11.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said yesterday the death had dealt a setback to plans to declare the epidemic over.
The last HFMD death, that of a five-year-old girl from Kapit, was on May 7.
Dr Chan, who is the State’s disaster and relief management committee chairman, said that before the epidemic could be declared over, the State had to register two incubation periods — about 28 days — which are incident-free.
The term "incident free" refers to a period where there are no deaths, and fewer than 40 new cases are reported each day.
With the latest death, the whole process has to be repeated.
The disease has afflicted 10,861 children in the State, with 43 new cases reported by noon yesterday.
Of these new cases, 11 were admitted to hospitals, while the rest were given out-patient treatment.
Sibu has the highest number of cases, with 2,604 reported, followed by Miri with 2,006 cases, Kuching (1,456), Bintulu (1,333), Sarikei (920) and Mukah (770).
The majority of children afflicted by the disease were under the age of four.

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