KOTA KINABALU: Up to 940 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have been recorded in the state as of the middle of last month – an increase of 27 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said that the state capital registered the highest number of cases at 250, followed by Beaufort (148), Sandakan (111), Penampang (109), Tawau (63), Kuala Penyu (40), Tuaran (35) and Putatan (31).
The cases are part of 30 outbreaks reported in the state, which is also an increase over last year’s figure.
Meanwhile, state Education director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul said that Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Cheng Hwa in Papar will be closed for two weeks after a district health office diagnosed several pupils with HFMD.
"Although HFMD patients usually present with mild symptoms, the disease can spread very rapidly, especially among (young children) at child care centres and preschools," Dr Christina said in a statement.
She advised parents and caregivers to practice preventive measures such as keeping children with flu-like symptoms away from public places, especially schools.
"Parents and caregivers have to bring children with HFMD symptoms to doctors for treatment.
“Caretakers also have to practice hand-washing with soap after going to the toilet or changing diapers," she added.