KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Kedah and Perlis recorded an escalation of new cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) for the 21st Epidemiology Week (ME) from May 22 to 28.
In Kedah, Health and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman said 1,178 new cases were recorded in ME-21 compared to 790 in the previous week, bringing the total HFMD cases in the state to 3,403.
He said five new clusters were reported involving one kindergarten, one nursery and three pre-schools, with four of them ordered to close under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 while another premises was not closed as the risk of infection was low.
“All cases reported showed mild symptoms and were given outpatient treatment and no cases had severe complications or required intensive treatment,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Mohd Hayati said Kuala Muda district recorded the highest number at 785 cases, followed by Kubang Pasu with 494 cases, Kulim (451 cases) and Kota Setar (380 cases).
In Perlis, state Health director Dr Sirajuddin Hashim said 936 HFMD cases have been recorded since January 1, a ten-fold increase over the 109 cases detected in the same period in 2021.
Explaining that the department previously set the HFMD alert level at 12 cases a day and warning level at 18 cases a day, he said cases started rising above the alert level on ME-13 (March 27-April 2) with 15 cases reported and increased to warning level with 28 cases on ME-14 (April 3-9).
“Cases escalated on ME-20 (May 15-21) and ME-21 (May 22-28) due to social activities during the Hari Raya celebration. There has been a significant rise in cases since April 2022 due to the relaxation of activities as well as full attendance at childcare centres, nurseries, kindergartens, kindergartens, pre-schools and schools,” he said.
To date, 10 clusters have been reported in Perlis this year, with two outbreaks still active in a nursery and a kindergarten. — Bernama