Slight dip in HFMD cases but numbers remain high

The number of cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) dipped slightly to 1,117 last week, but this was still much higher than in past years.

Weekly cases hit a four-year high from May 8 to 14 when there were 1,317 cases. Another high was then hit between May 22 and 28 with 1,349 cases, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH) website.

The number of cases has come down slightly in June. There were 1,234 cases between May 29 and June 4, and 1,117 from June 5 to 11.

Although slightly less than the figures reported in May, the latest figure is more than double the 540 cases in the same week last year, and much higher than the median 689 cases for this period in the past four years. The total number of cases so far this year is 20,587.

No childcare centre or kindergarten has been asked to close yet, said MOH. However, the ministry has flagged three childcare centres on its HFMD watchlist. These are centres that have more than 10 HFMD infections or where more than 13 per cent of children enrolled have contracted the disease.

The three on the list are Sasco Child Care Centre in Bukit Purmei Road, Amazing Star Montessori House in Ubi and Cambridge in Fernvale Road. Parents should look out for HFMD symptoms in their children at these centres, MOH said.

Any child exhibiting HFMD symptoms should be kept away from school and crowded public places and be given early medical attention.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2016, with the headline 'Slight dip in HFMD cases but numbers remain high'. Print Edition | Subscribe