WHO’S help sought as flu virus threat­ens

As H1N1 cases con­tinue to swell in the coun­try dur­ing mon­soon, Myan­mar has asked for the as­sis­tance of World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion to con­tain the in­fluenza.

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - my­in­tkaythi@mm­times.com MYINT KAY THI

MYAN­MAR has sought the help of the World Health Orgniza­tion (WHO) to the wors­en­ing H1N1 in­fluenza out­break sweep­ing the coun­try and killed six peo­ple.

The health depart­ment said that the num­ber of con­firmed H1N1 cases in the coun­try rose by 50 per cent to 30 in­fected pa­tients.

Dr Than Hun Aung, Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health said, “we have in­formed WHO head­quar­ters about the dis­ease sit­u­a­tion” and asked for as­sis­tance.

“We have asked for spe­cial pro­tec­tive gears (for the doc­tors), drugs to treat pa­tients and lab­o­ra­tory equip­ment,” he told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day.

“It is not an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion now and if the con­di­tion gets worse we will ask for in­ter­na­tional as­sis­tance, but the sit­u­a­tion is not so se­ri­ous,” he added.

Since the out­break on July 19, 50 sus­pected pa­tients had been tested na­tion­wide, and 30 pa­tients were con­firmed suf­fer­ing from the Sea­sonal In­fluenza A (H1N1).

The Health Min­istry’s state­ment said the sus­pected pa­tients that were trans­ferred to pri­vate hos­pi­tals and gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals dis­played symp­toms of Se­vere Acute Res­pi­ra­tory Ill­ness.

In Yan­gon, 19 pa­tients, among 39 sus­pected pa­tients from gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals, were con­firmed with H1N1 and six had died.

The sus­pected pa­tients came from Yan­gon Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, Yankin Chil­dren Hos­pi­tal, Thingyan­gun Syan­pya Hos­pi­tal, Yan­gon Chil­dren Hos­pi­tal, Yan­gon Cen­tral Women’s Hos­pi­tal, In­sein Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, North Okkalapa Hos­pi­tal and a pri­vate hos­pi­tal.

A pa­tient from Bago Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal was con­firmed with H1N1 pos­i­tive and 10 H1N1 pa­tients from Chin State are safe, the min­istry’s state­ment added.

Dr Myint Myint Khine, Med­i­cal Su­per­in­ten­dent of Yankin Chil­dren Hos­pi­tal said that the “three chil­dren who have been di­ag­nosed with sea­sonal flu, one with H3N2 and two were H1N1 pos­i­tive, are un­der ob­ser­va­tion.”

She added that the hos­pi­tal has pre­pared the iso­la­tion rooms for chil­dren sus­pected to be af­flicted with H1N1.

“We tested the chil­dren with sus­pected symp­toms through rapid di­ag­nose test at first. The na­sopha­ryn­geal swat of the chil­dren had been sent to Na­tional Health Lab­o­ra­tory, “she added. “The hos­pi­tal has enough medicines for treat­ment.”

Dr Aung San Min, Med­i­cal Su­per­in­ten­dent of Thingyan­gun San­pya Hos­pi­tal said that a five-year-old girl died on Tues­day and a 34 man died ear­lier in the day from H1N1.

“We will man­age based on the guide­lines of the min­istry,” he said.

Dr Than Tun Aung, said “The virus is al­ready found in the coun­try in the past and I think it has be­come a bit vir­u­lent. More­over, the wors­en­ing weather con­di­tion could be a cause.”

“We are get­ting more in­for­ma­tion about the dis­ease as pu­bic are be­com­ing more aware about it,” he said.

He said that when they con­ducted med­i­cal tests on the dead pa­tients, they have low re­sis­tance and were suf­fer­ing from other dis­eases as well.

Dr Kyaw Thet Soe, a doc­tor in Yan­gon said, “At the moment, most pa­tients come with flu symp­toms. As the symp­toms of nor­mal flu and H1N1 are sim­i­lar, peo­ple should take care of them­selves and should take pre­ven­tive mea­sures.”

Daw Khin Hla, a grand-mother from Nyaung­don town­ship, Aye­yarwaddy Re­gion said, “My grand­son is ad­mit­ted at the town­ship hos­pi­tal as he was taken ill. Now, we are wor­ried he might be suf­fer­ing from the dis­ease be­cause I heard that there are sus­pected cases in our town­ship.”

Peo­ple wear­ing masks walk past the Thin­gungyun Hos­pi­tal, in Thin­gungyun town­ship, Yan­gon on July 27. Photo: Aung Khant

Dr Aung San Min, med­i­cal su­per­in­ten­dent of Thingyan­gun San­pya Hos­pi­tal speaks to the me­dia on July 27. Photo: Aung Khant

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