– July 18, 2018
GEORGE TOWN: The hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Penang is worrying, with over 2,000 cases reported as of today.
According to statistics by the state Health Department, 2,082 cases were reported as of 12pm, an increase of 93.5 per cent at 1,076 cases reported last year.
Thirty-two premises were ordered to close down for cleaning purposes, including seven primary schools, six pre-schools and 11 kindergartens.
Among the seven primary schools, only Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Shih Chung was ordered to fully shut down until July 20, while the others only involved closure of classes.
The other six schools which were partially closed were SJKC Chong Cheng with 11 classes, SJKC Sum Sun (9), SK Saujana Indah (3), SJKC Sum Min 1 (4), SK Sungai Bakap (1) and SJKC Moh Gee Pusat (3).
The statistics also revealed that northeast district recorded the highest number of HFMD cases with 33 since Sunday followed by Seberang Perai Selatan (20 cases), southwest (19 cases), Seberang Perai Utara (10 cases), and Seberang Perai Tengah (10 cases).
Ten HFMD patients were still receiving treatment at Penang Hospital while 9 were at private hospitals.
HFMD is a contagious disease caused by viruses in particular Coxsackie A16 and Enterovirus 71 (EV71) which spread through contact with saliva, blister fluid or faeces.
The symptoms of infection include fever, rashes (maculopapular and vesicles) in the palms and feet, and ulcers in the mouth and tongue, as well as symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).