Watch out for HFMD symptoms among students, teachers told

Teo (right) with some of the pupils from SJK (C) Foon Yew 3 during the anniversary celebration.

JOHOR BARU: The Education Ministry has directed teachers to examine their students for symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) to prevent the disease from spreading, said deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said they should take the necessary precautions such as infor­ming parents or guardians to take their children to clinics for treatment.

She said if two cases of HFMD was detected in a school, the ministry would order it closed for between 10 and 14 days as advised by the Health Ministry.

“We are closely monitoring the HFMD situation in schools nationwide and we want all to cooperate to contain the problem,” said Teo during the 105th anniversary celebration of SJK (C) Foon Yew 3 in Jalan Dato Jaafar here.

She said Malaysian students commuting to schools in Singapore daily from Johor Baru must regularly wash their hands with soap and clean water after using the toilet.

This, she said, could help to prevent the HFMD from spreading to the republic as there is high human traffic flow along the Causeway.

HFMD is a viral disease which could easily spread, especially through the Coxsackie A16 and EV71 virus, through contact with saliva, blisters and faeces.

So far, nine schools, seven in Sabah and two in Penang and Pahang, have been closed due to HFMD outbreak.

Meanwhile, on another matter, Teo said the ministry needed a big allocation to upgrade and renovate about 3,000 primary and secondary schools in the country classified as dilapidated by the Works Department.

“Apart from funds, it will take us time to upgrade the schools to provide a conducive learning environment for students and teachers,” she said.

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