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Over 65,500 HFMD cases so far but only 3 admitted to ICU

The 65,535 cases reported as of end-May mark a 27-fold increase from the same period last year.

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Of the 65,535 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) reported as of May 28, only three have been admitted to the ICU ward so far, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

He said the first and second cases were admitted to the ICU due to complications of encephalitis and were confirmed to be infected with EV71, while the third case was admitted to the ICU for monitoring after abdominal surgery.

“The third case was transferred to the regular ward on May 27 for further monitoring while the first and second cases are still under close monitoring in the ICU,” he said in a statement.

Noor Hisham said as of the last day of the 21st epidemiological week (May 28), a total of 65,535 cases of HFMD were reported – a 27-fold increase from the 2,333 cases recorded in the same period last year.

Selangor still has the highest number of cases at 18,525 (28.27%), followed by Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with 8,088 cases (12.34%), Perak with 5,810 cases (8.87%), Kelantan 4,905 cases (7.48%), and Sabah 4,077 cases (6.22%).

Noor Hisham said a total of 1,505 outbreaks were reported in Malaysia so far with three states recording the highest number, namely Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (502 outbreaks or 33.4%), Selangor (172 outbreaks or 11.4%) and Perak (168 outbreaks or 11.2%).

“The majority of the outbreaks occurred at child nurseries, kindergartens and preschools (913 outbreaks or 61%) followed by private homes (526 outbreaks or 35%) and childcare centres (51 outbreaks or 3%),” he said.

Outbreaks appeared to be exacerbated during the incubation period of HFMD.

Noor Hisham stressed the importance of gatekeeping screenings of children at nurseries, kindergartens and preschools as well as other early childhood education centres to detect symptoms of infectious diseases including HFMD.

He said as of May 29, a total of 1,174 nurseries, kindergartens and preschools were closed, 228 of which did so voluntarily and 946 of which were shut under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

Of the total, 715 premises (61%) reopened after inspections by the district health office found that disinfection measures and other preventive controls had been implemented by the owners, he said.

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