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HFMD Cases Rise Dramatically

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PETALING JAYA: There was a 50% spike in hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases to 1,885 nationwide from July 31 to Aug 6 compared to the week before, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

From Jan 3 to Aug 6, 23,454 cases, or an average of 757 cases a week, were reported. This was 17.8% higher than the 19,916 cases in the same period last year.

Selangor reported the most number of cases at 7,471 (31.9%), notably in Petaling District (2,699), Hulu Langat (1,801) and Klang (1,023).

Asked why there was a spike in HFMD, Dr Noor Hisham said it was a self-limited disease and people tend to overlook it, resulting in pockets of infection.

“We advise parents not bring their children to public places, schools, nurseries, kindergartens and day-care centres if their children have symptoms,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Sarawak reported 3,007 cases (12.8%), Johor 2,294 cases (9.8%) and Kuala Lumpur 2,084 cases (8.9%).

Sabah has 1,535 cases (6.5%), Perak 1,361 cases (5.8%), Penang 1,357 cases (5.8%), Malacca 1,198 cases (5.1%), Negri Sembilan 889 cases (3.8%) and Kedah 641 cases (2.7%).

Dr Noor Hisham said HFMD was endemic in Malaysia and happened throughout the year.

Most infections were through Coxsackie Virus A16, followed by Enterovirus 71 (EV71), and spread through saliva, touching of blisters and faeces.

Although those infected would have symptoms such as fever and blisters on the hands, feet, mouth and tongue, and recover within seven to 10 days, some children may experience difficulties in breathing, vomiting and diarrhoea, he said.

Those with EV71 could end up with complications such as encephalitis, pulmonary edema and myocarditis, he said.

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