HFMD: 33,425 cases recorded so far

A teacher instructs students how to wash their hands as a precautionary measure against HFMD. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says 33,425 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) were recorded nationwide as of yesterday.

He said most of the states showed an increase in the number of HFMD cases this year compared with the corresponding period last year, except Sabah and Sarawak.

“On the fourth day of the epidemiology week 29/2018, which was July 18, 722 HFMD cases were reported while on July 17, 18 premises were closed, involving six child care centres and 12 kindergartens.

“This brings the number of premises that have been closed so far to 419, comprising 198 child care centres, 197 kindergartens and 23 schools,” he said in a statement.

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

Noor Hisham said the ministry would continue to monitor the HFMD situation and advised the public to follow the advice from the health authorities.

“Parents, as well as operators of child care centres, should bring children with symptoms of the disease to health facilities and ensure proper disposal of disposable napkins.

“Do not bring children with HFMD to public places to avoid spreading the disease, and wash your hands after going to the toilet, changing diapers or touching the blisters,” he added.

He also advised them to clean the children’s toys, and to mop the floor, including the toilet floor, with Clorox.

He also suggested that children be screened before entering their classrooms to ensure they have no symptoms of HFMD.