KUALA TERENGGANU: A Permata kindergarten here has been ordered to temporarily close its doors from Saturday following reports of a Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HFM) outbreak.
State Health Department director Dr Mohammad Omar said the preschool in Batu Burok here was ordered to close after 14 children aged between eight and 18 months came down with the disease.
Dr Mohammad said the preschool would be closed until end of this month.
“The closure of the kindergarten is needed to minimise the spread of the disease,” he told reporters after visiting the kindergarten on Wednesday.
He added the Department’s health enforcement unit had detected three kindergartens with HFM outbreaks.
“Since January this year, there have been 10 episodes of HFM with a total of 401 cases reported,” he said, adding this was a 172.8% increase compared to the same period last year.
HFM is a viral infection caused by a group of enteroviruses, most commonly the Coxsackie virus.
It commonly infects children and causes fever, mouth sores and a blistering rash that appears usually on the hands and feet.
Children are most vulnerable to HFM but adults can also contract it.