PETALING JAYA: Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases in Malaysia have increased 15 times this year compared to the same period last year, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic).
The Health director-general said Malaysia has recorded 31,661 HFMD cases as of May 14 during epidemiology week 19.
“The country only recorded 2,121 cases in the same epidemiology week report last year.
“The number of HFMD cases reported for epidemiology week 19 was 7,526 as compared to the previous week which is only 1,676 cases across the country, showing an increase of 349%.
“In 2022, until May 14, Selangor contributed the largest number of cases compared to other states with 8,864 cases (28%) followed by Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya - 4,421 cases (14%), Sabah - 2,650 cases (8%), Perak - 2,638 cases (8%) and Kelantan - 2,493 cases (7.9%) while other states around or less than 1,500 cases,” he said in a statement on Tuesday (May 17).
He added that a total of 889 outbreaks were reported in Malaysia where the three states with the highest number of recorded outbreaks were Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with 309 outbreaks (35%), followed by Selangor with 111 outbreaks (12%), and Perak with 105 outbreaks (12%).
“The outbreaks usually happen in kindergartens/nurseries/ pre-schools with 575 outbreaks (65%) followed by private homes with 305 outbreaks (34%), and also childcare centres with 27 outbreaks (3%).
“Cases of HFMD are common in children aged six years and below with 29,781 cases (94%), followed by the age group of 7 to 12 years with 1,473 cases (5%),” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham also said HFMD is closely linked to personal hygiene and able to rapidly spread among kids below 10 years old with an infection rate of almost 100%.
Meanwhile, he also noted the rise in dengue cases in the country.
“There is a 45.2% increase in dengue cases with 14,725 cumulative cases compared to 10,139 cases in the same period last year.
“A total of 1,074 dengue cases were reported in epidemiology week 19, which is an increase of 365 cases (51.5%) from the total number of reported cases the previous week.
“There are nine deaths from dengue cases which is four more compared to 2021,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said Terengganu recorded the highest increase in the percentage of cases with 164.7%, followed by Labuan 150%, Kedah 137.8%, Negri Sembilan 71.4%, Selangor 42.6%, Sabah 40.8%, Kelantan 27.1%, Perak 26.4%, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya 14.3%, Sarawak 13.7%, and Penang 3.4%.
“Perlis, Melaka, Johor, and Pahang recorded a decrease in the percentage of cases compared to 2021,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham added that the Health Ministry has taken a proactive step by activating the latest feature to check the status of infectious diseases in the surrounding area (Infectious Disease Tracker) in the MySejahtera application for cases of infectious diseases such as Covid-19, Rabies, Measles, Dengue, and HFMD in the surrounding area.