Rise in HFMD cases by 15-fold

KUALA LUMPUR: A 15-fold increase in hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) was recorded with 31,661 cases as at May 14, compared with only 2,121 in the same period last year, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said a total of 7,526 cases were recorded during the epidemiological week (ME 19/2022) which ended on May 14. This was an increase of 349% compared with the previous ME with only 1,676 cases reported nationwide.

“Selangor contributed the largest number of HFMD cases with 8,864 or 28% of the total, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with 4,421 (14%), Sabah with 2,650 (8%), Perak with 2,638 (8%) and Kelantan with 2,493 (7.9%). Other states reported fewer than 1,500 cases,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Meanwhile, a total of 889 outbreaks were reported in Malaysia. The three states with the highest number of outbreaks were Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with 309 outbreaks (35%), followed by Selangor with 111 outbreaks (12%) and Perak with 105 outbreaks (12%).

“The majority of cases occurred in kindergartens, nurseries or pre-schools, with 575 outbreaks or 65% of the total cases, followed by private homes with 305 outbreaks (34%) and childcare centres with 27 outbreaks (3%),” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said most HFMD cases occurred among children aged six and below, with 29,781 cases or 94%, followed by children aged seven to 12, at 1,473 cases.

Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during the incubation period of the disease.

Dr Noor Hisham also warned that HFMD is infectious and needs to be reported under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

The public must report HFMD cases at the nearest district health office.

In addition, he said HFMD is closely related to personal hygiene and environmental practices, with the infection rate among children under 10 years being almost 100%, especially in premises where children gather such as kindergartens, nurseries or schools.

Therefore, parents and guardians of children with symptoms of infection are advised not to take them to public places.

Instead, infected children should be brought for treatment. Meanwhile, their toys and surrounding premises such as the floor and toilets should be kept clean.

He added that the ministry, through the MySejahtera application, has activated the latest infectious disease detection feature to detect cases other than Covid-19, such as rabies, dengue and measles.

“This helpful feature can help the public to check the status of red dots and cases of infectious diseases reported in an area, and help them plan and carry out daily activities carefully,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Meanwhile, he said that a total of 1,074 dengue cases were recorded in ME 19. This was an increase of 365 or 51.5%, from the previous ME, which had only 709 cases.

“This brings the cumulative number of dengue cases reported thus far to 14,725, compared with 10,139 cases reported in the same period last year. This was an increase of 4,586 cases or 45.2%,” he said.

Terengganu recorded the highest percentage increase in dengue 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 drop in the percentage of cases, while the cumulative number of dengue deaths in ME 19 was nine. — Bernama

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