Reuters reported that Malaysian Health Minister Chua Soi Lek has closed nearly 500 kindergarten schools in Sarawak for 2 weeks because four children died of the hand, foot and mouth (HFMD) viral disease. The aim is to contain the disease which has increased frighteningly in our biggest state.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection common in children and results in fever, mouth sores and a blistering rash, usually on the hands and feet. It is unrelated to foot-and-mouth disease, a disease of cattle, sheep and swine. Adults can also be affected too.
In 2001 there were 13 reported cases in Johor. In 2000, 4 children died of the disease, while an outbreak in 1997 killed 13.