A 14-month-old kid, infected with the Hand, Food and Mouth (HFM) disease in Malaysia's eastern state of Sarawak, died in hospital, bringing the total number of fatalities to six since the disease broke out at the beginning of this year in the state.
George Chan, deputy chief minister of the state, told reporters at Kuching, capital of the state, that the child died in hospital after being sent there for treatment.
All of the deceased were children aged below five, he said, adding that currently there were 82 children hospitalized in the state for HFM, including 33 admitted in as of Saturday noon.
As of Saturday noon, the total number of HFM cases in the state has risen to 3,984, including 213 new ones reported in the day, Chan said.
Local media reported that the current HFM situation in Sarawak was the worst since 1997. The Malaysian Federal Government and the Sarawak State Government have taken measures to prevent the situation from worsening, including temporarily closing kindergartens, extending the holiday period of schools.
The authorities also advised parents in the state not to take their kids to crowded places, such as shopping malls or swimming centers.
Meanwhile, the authorities are considering more dramatic measures in case the situation worsens in the state.