SEREMBAN, May 13 — The Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) outbreak in Negri Sembilan has recorded a 25-fold increase, or 1,446 cases as of today compared to the same period last year.

State Health, Environment, Cooperatives and Consumerism Committee chairman S Veerapan said Seremban recorded the highest number of cases at 834, Port Dickson (184), Jempol and Rembau (140 cases each), Kuala Pilah (66), Tampin (53) and Jelebu (29).

“Total number of outbreaks in Negri Sembilan this year is at 30 and only one HFMD outbreak has been detected as still active in Jempol.

“The significant increase this year compared to last year in Negri Sembilan among others is following the reopening of the education sector and public places,” he said in a statement here today.

He said parents or caretakers must always monitor the health of their children and not send them to school or kindergartens if they show symptoms of HFMD such as fever, mouth ulcers and rashes on the hand or legs.

On May 5, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was reported to have said that there was a significant hike in HFMD cases in the country with 22,463 cases reported until epidemiology week 17/2022, namely, an increase of 12.8 times compared to the same period in 2021 (1,752 cases).

In Pahang, 1,288 HFMD cases were reported as of yesterday with 138 cases identified as transmissions at 27 nurseries, kindergartens or pre-schools statewide while the rest were sporadic cases.

Pahang Health Department director, Datuk Dr Nor Azimi Yunus said the department expected the case trend to continue to go up if no prevention measures are taken by parents and operators of nurseries, kindergartens and pre-schools.

“Preventive actions are the best methods to avoid HFMD infections including avoiding taking child with symptoms to places of public foci such as shopping centres or sending them to nurseries or kindergarten.

“Operators of nurseries, kindergartens and pre-schools must conduct screenings at entrances to ensure children allowed to attend do not have symptoms of the disease. If children with symptoms could not be fetched by their parents, they should be isolated in special rooms,” he said in a statement here today.

In Kepala Batas, the Community Development Department (Kemas) had taken early preventive measures at all its nurseries and kindergartens to ensure no HFMD infection would take place.

Its director-general, Datuk Mohamad Yasid Bidin said to date, none of its nurseries and kindergartens nationwide were closed due to HFMD cases as the department always ensured cleanliness.

“Nationwide, Kemas has 10,830 kindergartens and 545 nurseries with 220,000 pupils. Based on information, to date, only one pupil at the Tasek Gelugor kindergarten, near here, was infected by HFMD.

“But the pupils were not infected at the kindergarten. In fact, he did not turn up after contracting HFMD,” he told reporters after the launch of an independent zakat recipient entrepreneur programme at the Kemas Paya Keladi Community Activity Centre here today. — Bernama