by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic by TMR
THE hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has increased 15-fold, with a total of 31,661 cases detected as of May 14, 2022, compared to the same period last year with only 2,121 cases.
Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said for the Epidemiological Week of 19/2022, up to 7,526 HFMD cases were reported compared to (EW) 18/2022 which was only 1,676 cases nationwide.
This marks an increase of 349%, he said in a statement today.
Selangor contributed the highest number of cases with 8,864, which equals to 28% of infections compared to other states.
These were followed by the 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 HFMD is most common in children aged six years and below, with 29,781 cases (94%), followed by children aged seven to 12 years, with 1,473 cases (5%) detected.
“The majority of outbreak (65%) is detected in kindergartens or nurseries/pre-schools with 575 cases followed by private homes with 305 outbreaks (34%), and also childcare centres with 27 outbreaks (3%),” he added in the statement.
He said the outbreak is counted when there are two or more cases in one locality and in which the case has epidemiologically history and occurs within the incubation period of HFMD disease.
According to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), HFMD is an infectious disease that needs to be notified.
“Therefore, the public can report incidents of HFMD cases occurring in nurseries, kindergartens and schools to the nearest District Health Office,” he advised.
In addition, the Ministry of Health has activated the (Infectious Disease Tracker) feature on MySejahtera application, to check the status of infectious diseases in the surrounding area.
“This includes diseases such as Covid-19, Rabies, Measles, Dengue and HFMD in the surrounding area,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham also advised the public and parents to exercise safety measures and avoid taking children to public places which may spread the infections.