With the recent outbreak of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD), it has caused panic among Malaysians and especially parents who are sending their children to pre-school. In light of this hustle-bustle situation, the Health Ministry indicates that the amount of HFMD infection cases in the our country will decline in the following two or three weeks.
Having said that, Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stated this projection was based on the theory that children’s immune levels improve after being exposed to the virus during a press conference held yesterday at Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar.
“Commonly, HFMD is a localised, seasonal disease. It started with a wave and it will slow down significantly by itself within a month. As more children are getting exposed to the virus, their immunity level will improve and the number of infection cases will be slowing down,” he said.
According to Khairy, the unusually high number of HFMD infections nationwide could be attributed to children’s lack of exposure to the outside environment during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns over the last two years.
“We have a theory why there was a sudden surge of infection cases and the numbers are higher compared to the pre-pandemic era in 2019. Firstly, all children’s early education centres have been reopened. Secondly, our children were not exposed to the outside world for the past two years,” he added.
“So when they were not exposed to the virus, their immunity level declined. We can say that our children have become HFMD naïve, hence the number of infection cases is higher than usual,” he said.
Khairy did note that the majority of the HFMD infections reported were not serious.
“Parents are advised to get treatment for their children infected with HFMD and refrain from sending their children who develop HFMD symptoms to taska and tadika,” he told reporters.
Please take the necessary precautions to prevent this hazardous disease from affecting your children, or seek medical help promptly if you notice any symptoms of HFMD in your children.
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