H1N1 claims sixth victim

Six people have died in the past eight days from H1N1 influenza, including two 5-year old girls, with 39 people so far confirmed to have contracted the H1N1 virus, the Myanmar health ministry said yesterday.
“Out of the patients who were receiving medical care for the seasonal influenza H1N1, a 5-year-old girl died on 24th July at  Yangon Children’s Hospital, a 5-year-old girl died at Thingangyun Sanpya Hospital on 25th July and a 34-year-old man died at Thingangyun Sanpya Hospital on Thursday morning,” according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health and Sports yesterday.
Most of the confirmed cases were in Yangon, but 10 people were found to have contracted the virus earlier this month in Matupi, Chin State, in remote northwestern Myanmar. The ministry later announced that an 8-year-old boy who died in Matupi with respiratory problems is suspected to have also caught the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.
The Ministry of Health and Sports urged everyone to follow their recommended precautionary measures, which include avoiding crowds, frequent washing of hands, use of disposable tissues when sneezing and coughing, and thorough cleaning of utensils and plates before use. The ministry has also instructed responsible personnel in schools, factories, hotels and homes for the aged to monitor the health condition of residents and workers, and to watch for those who develop a fever.
Health officials have sought to calm fears among the public over the outbreak, which has seen stores in Yangon sell out of surgical masks.
They point out that H1N1 has been among the strains of flu circulating in Myanmar seasonally since a global pandemic in 2009, although deaths from the virus have not been reported in recent years.—GNLM

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