SHAH ALAM: A total of 6,748 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have been reported in Selangor, with the weekly number of cases exceeding the warning level as of May 7, says state Health director Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman.
He said 4% of these cases were admitted to hospitals for further monitoring and the others received outpatient treatment.
“At the same time, 118 HFMD clusters have been reported with 95% involving nurseries or kindergartens as well as childcare centres. There have been no deaths reported,” he said in a statement posted on the Selangor Health Department’s (JKNS) official Facebook yesterday.
Dr Sha’ari said those infected were mainly children under the age of seven.
He said 33% of the cases were due to the Coxsackie virus A16 (CA16) and 22% from the Enterovirus 71 (EV71) whereas the rest were from other viruses.
He said from the 18th Epidemiology Week (ME 18) this year, a total of 525 cases have been reported, however, this is a decrease of 40% compared to the previous ME.
“The decrease is believed to be due to the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays as most of the childcare centres and educational institutions were closed due to the holidays.
At the same time, there were no HFMD clusters reported during the same period,” he added.
Meanwhile, 11 child care centres in Melaka have been closed after the state recorded 977 HFMD cases.
State Health Department director Dr Rusdi Abd Rahman said these cases were from 13 clusters involving kindergartens, nurseries and other child care.
“As such, we have ordered 11 premises, including seven in the Jasin district, Melaka Tengah (three), and Alor Gajah district (one) closed under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988,” he said.
There were two HFMD cases involving private residences.
Dr Rusdi said that apart from the continuous monitoring by the Melaka Health Department, several meeting sessions with kindergarten and nursery operators would be held to contain the disease.
Although the HFMD situation in Melaka was under control, he said parents needed to be vigilant to recognise if their children showed symptoms of the disease.
There was also a HFMD increase in Negri Sembilan with 1,446 cases, which is a 25-fold increase compared to the same period last year.
State health, environment, cooperatives and consumerism committee chairman S. Veerapan attributed this to the reopening of the education sector and public places.
He said Seremban had the highest number of cases with 834, followed by Port Dickson (184), Jempol and Rembau (140 each), Kuala Pilah (66), Tampin (53) and Jelebu (29).
“Premises with unusually high number of cases have been ordered to temporarily close,” he said.
Veerapan urged parents to keep a close watch on their children and to keep them at home if they displayed symptoms such as fever, ulcers in the mouth or blisters on their hands and feet.
“Teachers and supervisors at schools and these centres should also tighten gate keeping activities to prevent more cases,” he said adding that good personal hygiene should be maintained by frequently washing their hands with soap.