PUTRAJAYA, May 5 — The number of dengue cases in the country are reported to have risen from 967 cases in the epidemiological week (EW) 16/2022 to 1,021 cases in EW 17/2022, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

He said the increase of 54 cases (5.6 per cent) was recorded between April 24 to 30 (EW 17/2022), bringing the total dengue cases so far to 12,942 cases, compared to 9,270 cases in the same period in 2021.

“There has been seven deaths due to dengue till EW 17/2022,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Noor Hisham added that the Health Ministry (MOH) also detected a drastic rise in hand, foot, mouth disease (HFMD) cases in the country, with 22,463 cases reported throughout the country until EW 17/2022.

He said the numbers showed a 12.8-fold increase compared to the same period in 2021, with only 1,752 cases reported then.

Dr Noor Hisham said HFMD mostly infected children aged 6 and below, with 21,508 cases, followed by 729 cases involving those aged seven till 12 with the rest involving children above 12.

HFMD is a disease caused by viral infection, specifically by the Coxsackie A16 dan Enterovirus 71 (E71) virus, which spread through direct contact with nasal fluid, saliva, blisters and faeces of those infected.

He said that there were 767 HFMD cases reported in three states during EW 17/2022, with the highest cases being in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, followed by Selangor and Perak.

In addition, he advised the public to ensure that their homes were free of any dengue breeding sites by cleaning or disposing of any unnecessary water containers to help to curb the spread of dengue.

“For medical practitioners, make sure patients with continuous fever conduct a full blood count on the third day.

“If patients are suspected of being infected by dengue based on clinical features and blood test, patients must be given a dengue alert card and have a dengue combo test conducted,” he said.

As for HFMD, parents of young children are advised to take precautionary measures such as washing their hands before using the toilet, preparing food and changing diapers.

Dr Noor Hisham also reminded parents not to bring children with symptoms to crowded public places such as swimming pools, markets and shopping malls.

As a proactive measure to stop the spread of infectious diseases, he said the MOH, through the MySejahtera app, has activated new infectious disease detection features to track cases other than Covid-19, such as rabies, dengue and chicken pox.

“These features will assist the public to conduct their daily activities and plan their travel better,” Dr Noor Hisham added. — Bernama