Fourteen cases of the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) have been reported in the country from January 1 to May 12. From the number, five cases are among children aged five and below.
However, in light of the increasing number of HFMD cases in a neighbouring country since early 2022, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is monitoring the situation of the infectious disease in the country.
Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the daily press conference yesterday, reminded the public, especially parents and guardians of children, to take precautionary measures, especially in personal and environmental hygiene as well as to avoid bringing children to crowded places.
According to the MoH, HFMD is one of the most common infectious disease among children especially those aged below five. The symptoms of the disease include fever, loss of appetite, feeling unwell, skin rash and sore throat. Mouth sores and ulcer are also often experienced on the tongue, gums and the inside of the cheek.
The infection is caused by several types of viruses that can spread from person to person through hand contact or touching a surface contaminated with the virus. Younger children have a higher risk of infection resulting in serious complications such as inflammatory bowel disease (encephalitis) and dehydration.
The MoH advised the public to maintain personal hygiene such as washing hands after using the toilet, before eating or preparing food as well as after changing diapers or carrying out household chores; maintain the cleanliness of the environment whether at home, childcare centres or at schools and not to send children infected with HFMD to school. Infected children are also advised not to go to public places such as supermarkets, shopping malls, playgrounds and swimming pools.
The MoH urged parents and guardians to bring their children to health centres and hospitals if they show any signs of HFMD.