PETALING district has recorded the highest number of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) cases in Selangor since January this year.
From Jan 1 to Aug 4, a total of 4,712 cases were recorded in the district that comprised urban areas such as Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Subang.
Districts of Hulu Langat and Gombak recorded 2,529 and 1,933 cases respectively.
These three districts are contributing to Selangor’s position as the state with the highest number of cases since the disease gained momentum last month.
Selangor recorded 12,868 cases since January, followed closely by Kuala Lumpur 4,996 and Sarawak with 4,988 cases.
State Health, Welfare, Women Empowerment and Family committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said 96.7% cases involved students below the age of 15.
She said 158 HFMD clusters were reported in total, of which 75 were at private homes, 76 at kindergartens or preschools and child care centres while another seven involved primary schools.
“All the affected kindergartens and preschools were closed temporarily to be disinfected while only several classes from two affected schools were closed.
“None of the schools were shut down entirely,” she added.
The state, said Dr Siti Mariah, has taken necessary precaution with the Selangor Health Department to contain the epidemic from spiralling out of control.
“If there are children or students suffering HFMD, they need to report the matter to their parents who should immediately take the children back home.
“We know the disease is caused by lack of hygiene so we want parents to monitor their children and teach them the right techniques to wash their hands especially before eating,” she added.
The health department, she said, had also ordered all shopping malls, fast food joints and eateries with playgrounds to clean their premises every day.
Apart from that, she said the state would ensure that preschool, kindergarten and childcare centres have gatekeepers on-site to check and ensure that infected children do not enter their premises.
Dr Siti Mariah also said that the state planned to increase awareness of the disease among parents, childcare operators and teachers.
“We are looking at improving personal hygiene and cleanliness of the area around their premises and homes including disinfecting toilets, floor and surfaces of tables,” she added.
The state and the health department also increased their watch over schools and kindergartens.
The Health Ministry reported of 770 HFMD cases on Aug 3 alone. However, these numbers show a reduction compared to 952 cases the day before.
The cumulative number of cases nationwide from Jan 1 to Aug 3 is 43,250.
No recent deaths were recorded except for the two cases reported earlier in Sarawak and Penang.
Since January, 631 premises have been shut down due to the disease while only 52 premises remain closed as of Aug 3.