HFMD: 12 childcare premises closed, 1,378 cases reported in Malacca

HFMD: 12 childcare premises closed, 1,378 cases reported in Malacca

MALACCA: A total of 12 childcare premises were closed after Malacca state recorded 1,378 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) as of May 14.

State Health and Anti-Drugs Committee chairman Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh said the increase in the number of HFMD cases was reported after the Aidilfitri holidays and this was due to travel movement and the reopening of childcare and kindergarten centres.

“There was an increase of 1,322 cases or 24.6 times compared to the corresponding period last year which was 56 cases, and 95.5 per cent of the cases involved children below six years,” he said in a statement today.

He said eight HFMD cases required admission during the 19th epidemiological week (ME19) which was from May 8 to 14, an increase of six cases compared to the previous week.

“Overall, the total number of admissions to pediatric or medical wards was 67 cases and the majority of cases (91.4 per cent) were treated as outpatients. No deaths have been reported so far,“ he said.

He said Central Malacca district recorded 124 cases, an increase of 69 cases (125.4 per cent) from the previous week, while Alor Gajah and Jasin, reported 162 cases and 115 cases respectively,

Three HFMD clusters were reported as of May 14, making a total of 16 clusters with Jasin district recording the highest number with 11 (68.8 per cent) followed by four in Central Malacca (25 per cent) and Alor Gajah one (6.2 per cent).

“Kindergartens, nurseries and childcare centres reported the highest number of infection with 12 active clusters (75 per cent),“ he said.

To curb the spread of HFMD, inspections and monitoring were being conducted by the State Health Department and District Health Office at premises which are at risk.

He said to date, 30 premises have been inspected and four Town Hall sessions would be held to brief teachers and operators of government and private childcare centres on the issue at hand. — Bernama