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Myanmar: Swine flu deaths go up to 23

Over 200 confirmed cases since an outbreak began on July 21, officials say

Myanmar: Swine flu deaths go up to 23 FILE PHOTO

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar 

The number of people who died from swine flu has reached 23, Myanmar health authorities confirmed Friday.

A total of 535 people have been hospitalized with severe acute respiratory infection in ten out of 15 regions of the country since July 21, according to the Health Department under the Ministry of Health and Sports.

The department said in a press release that the outbreak had claimed 23 patients so far, while 204 others were confirmed to have been infected with the H1N1 virus.

Than Tun Aung, deputy director general of the Health Department, told Anadolu Agency that the outbreak was just seasonal, and not an unusual event.

"It’s rainy season which is flu season for our country," he said, however, admitting that the infection rate had been on the rise as the virus spread by air.

The World Health Organization is providing technical support to the Myanmar government, consulting with regional experts, and offering assistance to have samples tested abroad, he added.

In addition to the swine flu outbreak, Myanmar also confirmed last month a H5N1 virus outbreak, commonly known as bird flu, in Yangon and in the southernmost region of Tanintharyi.

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