Materia Medica Malaysiana

January 27, 2005

110677081279010090

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 4:18 am

Malaysia free from Coxsackie virus

KUALA LUMPUR: Health Ministry disease control director Dr Ramlee Rahmat has given his assurance that the country is free from Coxsackie virus.
He said there were several cases in Penang about two weeks ago that were classified as suffering from the virus.
“But they were not. Those were hand, foot and mouth (HFM) cases. So, we are cleared of Coxsackie,” said Dr Ramlee when contacted yesterday.
Asked if he had heard that Coxsackie was making a comeback in some parts of the country, he said: “I did not.”
It was reported earlier this month that 37 children in Penang had come down with the hand-foot-mouth disease since Jan 1.
Dr Ramlee had said there were 67 enteroviruses known to have caused HFM disease.
It is believed that the enterovirus 71, the most dangerous of the enterovirus family, killed many of the 31 children during an outbreak in 1997.
Since 2000, Penang recorded many HFM cases. In 2000, there were 459 cases followed by 776 in 2001, 1,384 in 2002, 436 in 2003 and 364 last year.
Many children below five years old in Penang could have come down with HFM because of poor personal hygiene and improper sanitation.
Dr Ramlee said the 334 sentinel centres – 106 private and 119 Government health clinics and 109 treatment centres nationwide – were closely monitoring the situation.
He said specimens taken from HFM disease victims had been sent for analysis.

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