HFMD: Parents, pre-school operators told to be more vigilant

PUTRAJAYA: With Malaysia recording a spike in hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases, the Health Ministry has called on parents and pre-school operators to be more vigilant of children under their care.

As HFMD is usually spread through saliva or nasal mucus, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said parents must increase the level of personal hygiene of their little ones.

ALSO READ: HFMD cases up 15 fold so far this year, warns Health DG

Operators of pre-schools and kindergartens on the other hand should regularly conduct cleaning of their premises, preferably daily after every schooling session.

“HFMD is usually spread through saliva and we know how kids always put their hands in their mouths, and would handle toys which they will also share with other children. They would also touch surfaces.

ALSO READ: Almost 29,000 HFMD cases recorded nationwide so far this year

“So it is important for parents to increase the level of personal hygiene of their children.

“The parents should urge operators to ensure cleanliness of the pre-schools,” said Khairy to reporters at the Health Ministry’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration at Putrajaya International Convention Centre here.

Khairy said the number of HFMD cases has shown a sharp increase compared to pre-pandemic years.

ALSO READ: Dengue, HFMD cases on the rise, says Dr Noor Hisham

He said parents should immediately get their children checked and tested if they start to develop symptoms such as fever.

“The early symptoms of HFMD, such as fever, may appear similar to Covid-19. But if it is HFMD, the children would start to develop rashes. So if your child has any of these symptoms, go see a doctor immediately,” said Khairy.

The minister also urged all state Health Departments to come up with an intervention plan on HFMD that can increase awareness of the disease among the community.

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