Three-year-old said to have monkeypox tests negative, actually has HFMD

PETALING JAYA: A three-year-old child who was supposedly infected with monkeypox has tested negative for the disease.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said test results confirmed that the child was infected with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

"The child was initially taken to Batu 14 Health Clinic in Selangor after showing symptoms of fever on May 13 and rashes on May 16.

"The rashes then turned to blisters on May 19 and began to rupture on May 21.

ALSO READ: QuickCheck: Has a local child been infected with the monkeypox virus?

"The initial diagnosis of this child was HFMD and monitoring was then conducted at Hospital Kuala Lumpur by a paediatrician.

"Two samples were taken where the National Public Health Laboratory tested for several types of viruses including HFMD and monkeypox.

"The test results confirmed this child’s case was HFMD because the results were positive for Coxsackie Virus A6, and negative for monkeypox as well as other viruses," he said in a statement on Thursday (May 26).

On Tuesday (May 24), the Health Ministry said it had not been notified of any monkeypox cases involving a child, whose photo went viral on social media.

ALSO READ: Monkeypox: No cases received by Health Ministry so far (

The widely-circulated message claimed the child had been infected with monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a virus which causes a disease with an incubation period between 15 and 21 days.

It is often self-limiting and symptoms would subside within two to three weeks.

Typical symptoms are a rash with blisters on the face, hands, feet, mouth and genitals.

The rash can be accompanied by fever, feeling of discomfort or illness, headache, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes.

Lesions may appear that could be itchy or painful.

It may spread through direct contact with an infected individual.

Practising good hygiene and avoiding skin-on-skin or face-to-face contact with individuals with symptoms is advised in order to stay protected.

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