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Significant rise in Sabah Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease cases
Published on: Friday, May 20, 2022
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Kota Kinabalu: The State Health Department advised the public to take several actions, including washing hands regularly, in light of the increasing trend of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in Sabah.

Sabah Health Department Director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin said the State recorded a significant increase of HFMD cases to 2,834 since early this year from 55 in the same period last year.

She said five districts recorded the highest cases, namely Tawau with 435 cases, Sandakan (387), Lahad Datu (308), Kota Belud (244) and Papar (229).

“However, there has been no deaths caused by HFMD. About 93.1 per cent of cases involve children aged 6 and below.

“A majority of the infections take place at homes or early education centres,” she said in a statement.

HFMD is a disease caused by the enterovirus, mainly infecting children below 10 years old, especially those who are placed together.

It spreads through direct contact via bodily fluids from an infected person to another.

Dr Rose said among other measures taken include immediate investigation on reported cases, closure of premises and educate the public about the disease.

“The department has also requested day-care centre operators to take several actions to prevent the spread of HFMD.

“They should do screening at the entrance of premises for (HFMD) symptoms such as fever, ulcers in the throat, mouth and tongue, rashes, blister on palms and soles, other than headaches among the children.

“Operators should also wash their hands with soap, discard diapers properly and prevent children from sharing food.

“The children should also be trained to wash their hands and toys properly.”

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