The Terengganu health department recorded 782 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) from Jan 1 to May 7 this year.
Its director, Dr Kasemani Embong, said the number was a sharp increase of over 700% as only 95 cases were recorded in the corresponding period last year.
She added that the majority of cases involved children aged six and below who were placed in nurseries.
“A total of 19 childcare centres have been identified as the cause of the outbreak.
“However, none of them was closed as we managed to contain the spread of the disease,” she said at an event here today.
Kasemani said investigations found that failure to take preventive measures or ensure hygiene in the nurseries had been the reasons for the HFMD spread.
She reminded all nursery and childcare centre operators to further improve hygiene levels, including carrying out sanitisation at the beginning and end of operating hours to avoid a recurrence of HFMD cases.
“There must be cooperation between parents and nursery operators.
“If children have symptoms, do not send them to the nursery, and nursery operators should not accept HFMD-infected children,” she said.