Malaysiakini News

Health Ministry: Toys among agent spreading HFMD between children

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Children’s toys have been identified as one of the causes for the spread of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in the country.

Health Ministry Disease Control Division director Dr Chong Chee Keong said toys which children hold and play with could transmit the virus to others.

“Mothers and kindergarten management must clean the toys, toilets and napkins which are infected and can spread the virus easily.

"And of course inside the house itself. Children will play together and there will be a transmission from one child to another so we advise mothers to separate the children... I know it is not easy because children tend to play together," he told reporters after launching the Kuala Lumpur Nicotine Addiction International Conference 2018 (KLNAC2018).

The two-day conference, which kicked off yesterday, was also attended by University Malaya vice-chancellor Dr Abdul Rahim Hashim. 

Yesterday, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that the number of children infected by HFMD in Penang increased to 1,616 compared to the 1,555 cases last Friday. 

HFMD is a contagious disease caused by viruses, in particular the Coxsackie A16 and Enterovirus 71 (EV71) which are spread by contact with saliva, blisters or faeces.

The symptoms of infection include fever, rash (maculopapular and vesicles) in the palms, feet and ulcers in the mouth and tongue, as well as symptoms and signs of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).

Chong also said that all states recorded an increase in the number of HFMD cases but did not give any further details.

- Bernama

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