NewsDesk @bactiman63

Malaysia health authorities have reported a large nationwide outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in 2022; however  and fortunately, they have reported a declining trend of HFMD cases for two consecutive weeks.

Image/Robert Herriman

From the beginning of the year through June 11, a total of 95,924 cases were reported, a 36-fold increase over the same period in 2021 (during the COVID-19 pandemic) of 2,654 cases. If compared with the cases for the same period in 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic) which was 30,880 cases, it shows an increase of 3.1-fold.

While the cases reported nationwide for epidemiological week 23 alone were 13,080, a decrease of 22.9 % compared to epi week 22 which was 16,954 cases. The weekly HFMD case trend showed a decline since week 22 after the number of cases peaked in epi week 21.

The State of Selangor has seen the highest number of cases compared to other states which was 26,799 cases (27.9%). It was followed by WP Kuala Lumpur & Putrajaya 10,739 cases (11.2%), Perak 9,744 cases (10.2%), Johor 6,326 cases (6.6%) and Kelantan 6,153 cases (6.4%); while other states report HFMD cases of around or less than 5,500 cases.

HFMD cases are common among children aged 6 years and below, which is 86,230 cases (90%), followed by the age group of 7 to 12 years as many as 7,878 cases (8%). While the rest are over 12 years old, which is a total of 1,816 cases (2%).

Based on the surveillance of the type of virus (enterovirus) that causes HFMD in Malaysia, the three (3) main viruses that cause HFMD transmission in the community in 2022, are Enterovirus 71 (EV71), Coksackie A6 (CA6) and Coxsackie A16 (CA16). In 2022, to date, there are three (3) cases of HFMD admitted to the Intensive Care Ward (ICU). The first and second cases were admitted to the ICU due to complications of encephalitis, confirmed to be infected with EV71 and are still under close monitoring in the ICU. While the third case was already healthy and allowed to return home.