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Hand, foot and mouth disease in Malaysia (Perlis State)

21 Jun 2022

Media quoting public health authorities have reported that as of 3 June 2022, there have been 1,174 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) recorded this year in Perlis state, on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia.  Nurseries and children's daycare centres have been affected.

HFMD is a viral infection most common in children, but can also affect adults. Symptoms include a blistering rash on the hands and feet, fever, sore throat and sores in the mouth. The infection spreads easily between people through coughs and sneezes, contact with saliva, poo, or fluid in blisters of an infected person, or with surfaces contaminated by the virus.

Symptoms are usually mild and most people recover within a week to ten days. Serious illness is unusual.There is no specific treatment for HFMD. No vaccine is available.

Advice for travellers

To reduce your risk of catching and spreading HFMD when travelling, consider the following measures, particularly if you are travelling to an area with a known outbreak of HFMD:

  • wash your hands often, especially after changing nappies
  • encourage children, and assist young children to wash their hands
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

If you think you or someone in your household may be infected with HFMD, you should:

  • stay at home if possible, and avoid contact with others until symptoms resolve
  • avoid close contact, such as kissing and hugging, with the infected person
  • avoid sharing towels, bedding or household items like cups, plates and cutlery
  • regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces and personal items such as door handles and mobile phones

Further information on HFMD can be found on NHS inform and NHS UK websites.