PETALING JAYA: The health ministry has reported a 9.3% decrease in hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases over the past week (May 20-June 4), though two children remain in intensive care.
In a statement, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were 16,954 cases reported in the one-week period compared to 18,688 the week before.
A total of 82,846 cases have been reported from the start of the year until June 4 – a 32-fold increase in the number of cases during the same period last year, when only 2,485 cases were reported.
Most cases (90%) involved children aged six and below while 8% were among those aged between seven and 12.
The majority of cases were in Selangor (28.1%), followed by Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (11.5%), Perak (9.7%), Kelantan (7.5%) and Kelantan (6.9%).
Three cases had been admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), with two under close observation after developing encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. The third patient was discharged on May 31.
A total of 1,746 outbreaks have been reported in the country this year, with Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya recording the highest number of outbreaks at 562 (32.2%), followed by 208 in Selangor (11.9%) and 206 in Sarawak (11.8%).
The majority of outbreaks occurred in nurseries, kindergartens and preschools.