Materia Medica Malaysiana

October 5, 2008

Death of boy sparks HFMD fear

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:03 am

NST: KUCHING: The death of a 4-year-old boy in Sibu on Thursday from suspected hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has sparked fears of a new outbreak of the disease.
HFMD, a common acute viral illness that primarily affects infants and young children, killed 39 children in Sarawak during an outbreak in 1997.
The state’s deputy director of the Health Department, Raja Lope Ahmad Raja Ariffin, confirmed that the pre-schooler had “clinical symptoms of HFMD”.
“There were rashes on the boy’s hands and feet, ulcers in his mouth, loss of appetite and high fever.
“However, it could not be ascertained if he had died of HFMD until tests of samples taken from him are completed,” he said yesterday.
The tests were done at the Unimas medical laboratory and Raja Lope said the results should be known in a week’s time.
A local newspaper reported the boy fell ill on Sept 29 but was only brought to Sibu general hospital on Oct 1 in an “extremely weak” condition with high fever. He died at 4.50pm in the intensive care unit the next day.
Bukit Assek assemblyman Wong Ho Leng, in a news conference on Friday, called on the Health Department to be transparent about the death.
The DAP representative claimed that there was an attempt to cover up the cause of the death by the department.
Minister of Environment and Public Health Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh dismissed the claim and said they were waiting for result of the tests.
The department had reportedly sanitised the boy’s home as his 6-year-old sister was also suffering from the same symptoms.
HFMD is an endemic disease. A total of 6,571 cases have been reported at clinics and hospitals throughout the state this year.

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