HFMD outbreak: 1,691 cases now reported in Penang

Opalyn Mok
Penang school children are advised to be taken to see the doctor if they show any sign of HFMD. — Picture by R. Mahgeshan

GEORGE TOWN, July 12 — The number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) cases have now risen to 1,691 cases, an increase of 18 cases from 1,673 cases two days ago.

Penang Health Department Director Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah said a large number of the cases are on the island with 1,207 reported cases and only 484 cases on the mainland.

A total 930 of the cases are concentrated in the Northeast district of the island, around George Town.

“Three primary schools, two nurseries, 14 kindergartens and one daycare centre remains closed as at now,” he said.

The three primary schools are SJK(C) Phor Tay, Tenby International School and SJK(C) Shih Chung.

He said this brings the cumulative number of premises closed since January up to July 11 afternoon to 63 where a total 26 of the premises are in the northeast district on the island.

He called on all schools to ensure cleanliness of their premises.

“Parents must also take their children to the doctor if they showed signs of the disease,” he said.

He said parents must practice self-quarantine if their children contracted HFMD.

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 tongue.