World, Health, Asia - Pacific

Swine flu deaths rise to 5 in Myanmar

2 latest victims die 3 days after start of outbreak as country struggles to contain disease

27.07.2017 - Update : 27.07.2017
Swine flu deaths rise to 5 in Myanmar FILE PHOTO

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar

The Health Department under Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sports confirmed Thursday that two more H1N1-positive patients died at a hospital in Yangon, bringing the total number of swine flu victims to five since Tuesday.

The department said in a press release that about 30 other patients had tested positive for H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, and were being treated at hospitals in Yangon and many other areas.

Although local media reports said a total of six people -- including a six-year-old boy who died of severe respiratory problems in Matupi, a small town in Chin state near the country’s northwestern border with India – died from the virus, the department said the boy had not contracted swine flu.

The five victims include a 25-year old pregnant woman who died Tuesday, and and a five-year old girl who died Wednesday.

Authorities on Sunday issued a health alert in the country asking people with seasonal fever to stay away from public gatherings, and local hospitals to be prompt in their diagnosis.

The ministry also confirmed a bird flu outbreak in Dawei, capital of the country's southernmost region of Tanintharyi, adding about 2,000 chickens had been culled on July 16 to prevent the spread of the H5N1 virus.

According to local media reports, local authorities imposed a temporary ban on chicken and egg sales, and closed all schools (universities not included) in Dawei Township this week.

The first outbreak of swine flu in the country was confirmed in 2009 with a total of 66 patients having tested positive for H1N1. No fatalities were reported.

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