Malaysiakini NEWS

HFMD cases up 28pct, Health DG sounds alarm

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A total of 27,296 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) were reported nationwide as of June 30, up 28 per cent from the same period last year, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

He said all states except for Johor, Sabah and Sarawak had exceeded the warning level.

"The warning level is based on the average number of HFMD cases in the past five years and the value varies according to the number of cases in each state," he said in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham said to date, 341 nurseries, kindergartens and pre-schools throughout the country had reported HFMD clusters at their premises, which accounted for 50 percent of the cases reported this year.

HFMD is a disease caused by viruses Coxsackie A16 and Enterovirus 71, which are transmitted through direct contact with the nasal fluid, saliva, blisters and stool of the affected individual.

Among the symptoms of the disease are fever, rash or blisters on the palms and feet as well as ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue.

Kedah nurseries still open

Meanwhile, Kedah has not closed any nursery or childcare centres in view of the problem, but Norhizan Ismail advised parents to take precautionary measures.

He said there had been a 32.4 percent rise in the number of cases between January and July 7 this year compared to the corresponding period last year.

“Up to July 7, a total of 834 cases have been reported compared to 630 cases in the corresponding period last year.

“I advise parents to take precautions against the disease as there is no vaccine or medicine to prevent HFMD,” he said.

- Bernama

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