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KKM clarifies that child in viral photo was infected by HFMD instead of monkeypox

A recent viral photo showing a 3-year-old child in Malaysia allegedly suffering from monkeypox has been proven to be incorrect and it turned out that she was infected by hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) instead.

In a statement, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the test results confirmed that the child was infected with HFMD.

“The child was initially taken to Batu 14 Health Clinic in Selangor after showing symptoms of fever on 13 May and rashes on 16 May.”

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“The rashes then turned to blisters on 19 May and began to rupture on 21 May.”

“Two samples were taken where the National Public Health Laboratory tested for several types of viruses including HFMD and monkeypox.”

“The test results confirmed this child’s case was HFMD because the results were positive for Coxsackie Virus A6 and negative for monkeypox as well as other viruses,” he said.

The toddler is currently getting treatment and monitored at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

On Tuesday (24 May), the Health Ministry said it had not been notified of any monkeypox cases involving a child, whose photo went viral on social media. The viral message claimed that the child had been infected with monkeypox.

The typical symptoms of monkeypox are a rash with blisters on the face, hands, feet, mouth and genitals, which is kind of similar to the symptoms of HFMD but not entirely the same.

The rash can be accompanied by fever, feeling of discomfort or illness, headache, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. Lesions may appear that could be itchy or painful.

Monkeypox may spread through direct contact with an infected individual, hence, practising good hygiene and avoiding skin-on-skin or face-to-face contact with individuals with symptoms is advised in order to stay protected.

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