Published Date: 2008-05-08 14:02:07
Subject: PRO/MBDS> Hand, foot & mouth disease - Singapore, Malaysia: RFI
Archive Number: 20080508.1569
HAND, FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 7 May 2008
Source: RIA (Russian News & Information Agency) Novosti [edited]
Singapore reports outbreak of deadly child virus
Almost 1500 children in Singapore have been infected this week by
hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), that has already killed 28 children
under 6 in China, the country's health ministry said on Wednesday [7 May 2008].
After a sharp rise was noted this week 17 daycare centers in
Singapore have been closed. The Southeast Asian country has reported
10 490 infections this year , a 75 percent rise compared to
2007 figures. The health ministry said 26 percent of the reported
total had gone on to contract the enterovirus 71.
HFMD is a common childhood illness, but can lead to fatal
complications, such as meningitis and polio, when linked to the
enterovirus 71 (EV71), although the death rate from the virus is
still quite low.
Singapore's health ministry said that an additional 50 kindergartens
and child-care centers would shut as a precautionary measure.
The high amount of deaths in China has led to fears that the virus
has mutated, but a World Health Organization (WHO) representative in
China, Hans Troedsson, told journalists: "There is no indication of a
change or a more virulent virus."
Date: Sat 3 May 2008
Source: The Star Online [edited]
There has not been any unusual increase in cases of hand-foot-mouth
disease (HFMD) and Malaysia remains vigilant over the recent outbreak
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday [2 May 2008] an
average of 114 cases were reported weekly with a total number of 1943
people having being infected so far this year .
"The situation is normal. But we have to control it and stop the
spread," he told reporters yesterday [2 May 2008] after visiting
Bentong Hospital. He said steps included monitoring at all entry
points to the country.
It was reported last week that there had been 7560 confirmed cases of
HFMD in Singapore since the start of the year .
There was no increase in cases in Johor, where an average of 10 cases
were reported weekly, said Liow.
From the 90 samples taken to identify the virus, only 5 tested
positive for the enterovirus 71 (EV71), he said.
"We will ensure the disease does not come into Johor or Malaysia," he said.
HFMD is an infectious disease that can easily spread by direct
contact with an infected person. While it can affect people of any
age, the majority of those vulnerable are children below the age of
5. The incubation period is between 3 and 5 days followed by symptoms
such as fever, sore throat, and rashes with blisters on the palms,
feet, and mouth.
"Parents, please take care of their hygiene. Infected children should
not be brought to public places or to daycare centres until they
recover. Take them to a doctor for treatment," Liow added.
On a recent media report that the ministry would experiment with the
release of genetically modified _Aedes_ mosquitoes in Pulau Ketam,
Liow said there were no plans to carry out such trials.
[Although Singapore and Malaysia are not members of the MBDS network,
they are geographically close to MBDS member countries and recent
HFMD outbreaks contribute to a significant disease burden in the MBDS region.
The number of reported cases of HFMD in Singapore has increased by 75
percent when compared to those reported in 2007. According to data
from the Singapore Ministry of Health weekly publication of
statistics on the local infectious disease situation available at
there were 1465 cases of HFMD reported for week 18 (27 Apr-3 May
2008) compared to 763 cases reported for the same week in 2007. The
number of cumulative cases of HFMD from week 1 to week 18 in 2008 was
10 490 cases, compared to 6004 during the same period in 2007.
A fact sheet on HFMD from the Health Promotion Board of the Singapore
government is available at
There was a major outbreak of HFMD in Sarawak Malaysia in 2006. As
with other countries, HFMD is not on the list of mandatory reported
diseases in Malaysia so it has been difficult to find official data
to compare this years reports with those of last year. The Sarawak
Department of Health website has an interesting background fact sheet
on HFMD available at
More information on HFMD in Malaysia from official sources would be
At present, HFMD outbreaks have been occurring in Viet Nam and many
provinces of China. The increasing number of HFMD cases has been
reported mostly from the southern provinces of Viet Nam and Ho Chi
Minh city (see prior PRO/MBDS posting Hand, foot & mouth Disease -
Viet Nam (02): RFI 20080507.1560). A total of 19 962 cases and 30
deaths of HFMD have identified in China, including 113 cases from
Yunnan province and 169 cases with 1 death from Guangxi province (see
prior PRO/MBDS posting Hand, foot & mouth disease - China (06) 20080508.1565).
For a map of Singapore and its geographic relation to the MBDS