HFMD in Malaysia

28 June 2022

Article: 56/2504

On 4 June 2022, media quoting public health authorities 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, with nurseries and children's day-care centres being affected. 

HFMD is a mild viral infection most common in children, but can also affect adults, causing a fever, a blistering rash on the hands and feet, 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, with serious illness being unusual. There is no specific treatment for HFMD, with no vaccine being available. 

Advice for travellers 

To reduce the risk of spreading HFMD, travellers to an outbreak area should be encouraged to: 

  • wash their hands often, especially after changing nappies, while children should also be encouraged or assisted to wash their hands 
  • avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands 
  • avoid close contact, such as kissing and hugging, with someone infected with  HFMD 
  • avoid sharing towels, bedding or household items like cups, plates and cutlery with someone infected with HFMD 
  • regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces and personal items, such as mobile phones, where someone has HFMD 

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

Sources: TRAVAX, 21 June 2022 and fitfortravel, 21 June 2022