Health inspectors investigating the spread of the hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in Penang have identified the handlebars of supermarket trolleys as one of the main causes of the recent outbreak
According to Channel NewsAsia, the HFMD virus was also found on child ride equipment.
HFMD spreads by contact with nasal discharge, saliva, faeces, and fluids from the blisters of an infected person. Symptoms include fever, rashes, or blisters on the palms and feet, and ulcers in the mouth and tongue.
Though the viral infection can affect adults, young children below the age of five are more susceptible.
State Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin revealed that the number of HFMD cases has dropped from 78 cases on Wednesday to 52 and 51 cases on Thursday and Friday
This is comparatively lower than at the start of the month, when the average number of cases daily was 80, according to New Straits Times.
"However, the cumulative number of cases is still high at 2,341 so far this year compared to 1,099 cases in 2017 over the same period," Dr Afif said at a press conference on Monday, 23 July.
According to Dr Afif, 30 premises remain closed since the HFMD outbreak earlier in the month
The premises comprise of 10 kindergartens, seven nurseries, six primary schools, six preschools, and a childcare centre, The Star reported.
The schools still closed are SK Sungai Bakap, SJKC Sum Min 1, SK Saujana Indah, SJKC Moh Ghee Pusat, SJKC Beng Teik, and SJKC Kwang Hwa.
The State Health Committee chairman revealed that nine victims are currently undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Despite the high risk for the spread of HFMD, the Penang state government has no plans to close down public playgrounds or amusement centres in shopping malls