TAIPING, May 22 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) does not encourage alternative treatment methods such as using turmeric powder or ‘semambu’ (neem) leaves to treat hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said instead, people were advised to see a doctor if they have symptoms of infection.

“The MoH does not encourage alternative treatment because it has not been determined from a scientific point of view, and there is no specific treatment from a scientific point of view to treat the disease.

“We are also concerned about the symptoms of dehydration. Hence, children with HFMD need to drink enough water. If not then it should be given intravenously and taken to hospital,” he told reporters when met at the Aidilfitri open house at his residence here today.

On May 17, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was reported to have said that the number of HFMD cases in the country had increased at an alarming rate of 15 times, to 31,661 as of May 14, compared with only 2,121 cases reported in the same period last year. Dr Noor Hisham said that a total of 7,526 cases were recorded during the epidemiological week (ME 19/2022) which ended on May 14 alone, an increase of 349 per cent compared with the previous ME with only 1,676 cases reported nationwide. — Bernama