GEORGE TOWN: The hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Penang has worsened with the number rising up to 1,824 cases to date.
According to the statistics released by the state Health Department, a total of 29 premises were closed including eight primary schools.
However, only one school was fully closed for cleaning works, SJKC Shih Chung in Nibong Tebal, while the other schools are only partially closed.
The schools that are partially closed are SJKC Chong Cheng with 52 cases in 11 classes, SJKC Sum Sun with 18 cases in nine classes, SK Saujana Indah with 14 cases involving three classes, SJKC Phor Tay (11 cases, six classes), SJKC Sum Min 1 (six cases, four classes), Tenby International School (three cases, five classes) and SK Sungai Bakap (two cases, one class).
The number of children warded stands at 16 today compared to just six yesterday.
HFMD is a contagious disease caused by viruses in particular Coxsackie A16 and Enterovirus 71 (EV71) which spread through contact with saliva, blister fluid or faeces.
The symptoms of infection include fever, rash (maculopapular and vesicles) in the palms, feet and ulcers in the mouth and tongue, as well as symptoms and signs of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).