KUANTAN: A total of 3,760 cases of hand, foot and mouth diseases (HFMD) have been recorded in Pahang from January until June 7, a 16-fold increase compared with only 233 cases reported in the same period last year.
Pahang Health Department director Datuk Dr Nor Azimi Yunus said that of the 3,760 cases, 175 cases, or 4.7 per cent, were proliferation in pre-schools, while the remaining 3,585 cases (95.3 per cent) occurred sporadically.
“Only 98 cases, namely 2.6 per cent, were admitted to hospital for further monitoring, but do not involve admission to the intensive care unit (ICU),” she said.
She was speaking to reporters after conducting examinations and health education on HFMD, at childcare centres and kindergartens in the Kuantan district here, on Wednesday (June 8).
Until June 7, Dr Nor Azimi said that the department had visited 505 childcare centres and kindergartens statewide, of which 35 were ordered to close under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), while two daycare centres closed down voluntarily.
During the inspections, she said that health personnel also taught care centre operators to conduct screenings at the entry door to ensure that toddlers who turned up did not have symptoms of HFMD, such as fever, blisters on the hand, foot, mouth and tongue or poor appetite.
In PERAK, 194 HFMD cases were reported during epidemiological week 22 as of last Monday, a 32-fold increase compared with the same period last year, which only recorded six cases.
State Health, Environment, Science and Green Technology Committee chairman Mohd Akmal Kamarudin, said that four childcare centres were also closed after recurrent cases of infection after some parents still sent their children despite being symptomatic.
“In addition, there were childcare centre operators who did not conduct screenings, or don’t have a special isolation room if a child is symptomatic,” he said when contacted here on Wednesday. – Bernama