More primary school classes closed after HFMD outbreak in Penang

Ten students were infected with HFMD in SJKC Shih Chung. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Ten students were infected with HFMD in SJKC Shih Chung. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, July 13 — The number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases increased to 1,795 cases today with 30 premises closed, including seven primary schools.

Penang Health Department director Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah said not all of the seven primary schools were fully closed, as some only closed classes affected.

“Only SJKC Shih Chung had to be shut down as the afternoon session shares the same classes with the morning session,” he said today.

Ten students were infected with HFMD in SJKC Shih Chung.

Other schools that had to close between one and 11 classes due to HFMD cases include Tenby International School (three cases, five classes), SJKC Phor Tay (11 cases, six classes), SJKC Sum Sun (18 cases, nine classes), SJKC Chong Cheng (52 cases, 11 classes), SK Sungai Bakap (two cases, one class) and SJKC Sum Min 1 (six cases, four classes).

All of the classes involved were for Standards One to Four.

The remaining 23 premises were five nurseries, 16 kindergartens and two pre-schools.

The school closure was to allow cleaning works to be conducted to prevent the spread of HFMD to other students in the school.

The number of HFMD patients warded has also increased from four to six cases.

Dr Wan Mansor said there are now three warded in the Penang Hospital, two in the Seberang Jaya Hospital and one in the Bukit Mertajam Hospital.

HFMD is caused by viral infections of the Coxsackie A16 and Enterovirus 71 (EV71) strains.

The virus is spread through saliva, blisters and feces of those infected.

Symptoms of the disease included fever, rashes or blisters on the palms and feet, and ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue.

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