Spike in HFMD nationwide: Health DG

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has recorded a 28% spike in the spread of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Its director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said there are 27,296 cases up as of June compared to last year's 21,303 cases.

"Twelve states, excluding Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, have been identified," he said in a statement today.

He noted that 341 pre-schools nationwide have been identified with HFMD infection in their premises.

Health Ministry Disease Control Division director Datuk Dr Chong Chee Keong said children's toys have been identified as one of the causes for the spread of the disease.

"Mothers and kindergarten management must clean toys, toilets and napkins to prevent spread of the virus.

"At home, mothers must not let infected children play with other children, and if possible, separate them," he told reporters after launching the Kuala Lumpur Nicotine Addiction International Conference 2018 (KLNAC2018).

The two-day conference, which started today, was also attended by University Malaya vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Hashim.

Chong also said all states recorded an increase in the number of HFMD cases but did not provide details.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the number of children infected by HFMD in Penang has increased to 1,616 compared to the 1,555 cases last Friday.

The symptoms of infection include fever, rash (maculopapular and vesicles) on the palms and feet, ulcers in the mouth and tongue, as well as symptoms and signs of upper respiratory tract infection.