MELAKA: A total of 12 childcare premises were closed after Melaka recorded 1,378 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) as of May 14.
State Health and Anti-Drugs Committee chairman Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh said the increase in the number of HFMD cases was reported after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays and this was due to travel movement and the reopening of childcare centres and kindergartens.
"There was nearly 25-fold increase of 1,322 cases compared to the corresponding period last year, when 56 cases were reported, and 95.5% of the cases involved children below six years old,” he said in a statement Wednesday (May 18).
He said eight HFMD cases required admission during the 19th epidemiological week (ME19), which was from May 8 to 14, an increase of six cases compared to the previous week.
"Overall, the total number of admissions to paediatric or medical wards was 67 cases and the majority of cases (91.4%) were treated as outpatients. No deaths have been reported so far," he said.
He said the Melaka Tengah district recorded 124 cases, an increase of 69 cases (125.4%) from the previous week, while Alor Gajah and Jasin reported 162 and 115 cases, respectively.
Three HFMD clusters were reported as of May 14, making a total of 16 clusters with Jasin district recording the highest number at 11 (68.8%) followed by four in Melaka Tengah (25%) and Alor Gajah one (6.2%).
"Kindergartens, nurseries and childcare centres reported the highest number of infections with 12 active clusters (75%)," he said.
To curb the spread of HFMD, inspections and monitoring were being conducted by the state Health Department and district Health Office at premises which are at risk.
Dr Akmal said to date, 30 premises have been inspected and four Town Hall sessions would be held to brief teachers and operators of government and private childcare centres on the issue at hand. - Bernama