HFMD cases increase by 6.4% from last week


PUTRAJAYA: A total of 1,379 Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) cases have been recorded nationwide from June 5 to 11, with an increase of 83 cases or 6.4% as compared to the previous week (1,296 cases).

Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the increasing trend in HFMD cases were detected from April 24 to 30, with 794 cases recorded, exceeding the warning level of 644 cases a week.

“As a result, the Health Ministry, on May 9, issued a warning letter on the rise of HFMD cases to all state health departments to increase health monitoring from time to time as a prevention and outbreak control measure,” he said in a statement, here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said Selangor recorded the highest in the number of cases recorded, namely 4,441 cases.

He said the HFMD disease was endemic in Malaysia and occured throughout the year, and had a cyclical trend with a climax period every three years.

The illness is caused by several types of viruses – from minor to moderate. However, infection with enterovirus 71 (EV71) may aggravate it and cause deaths.

He added that the HFMD disease was caused by the enterovirus, with a majority due to the Coxsackie Virus A16 and EV 71 that spreads fast through contact with saliva, blisters and the faeces of diseased victims. It has an incubation period of between three and five days.

Dr Noor Hisham said the infection was usually mild with symptoms of fever followed by blisters on the hands, feet, mouth and tongue; and nearly all patients recovered fully without medical treatment within 7 to 10 days.

He said children could also experience symptoms such as breathing tract infections, vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of appetite.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said the EV71 infection could cause severe but rare complications such as encephalitis, pulmonary edema and myocarditis.