Re­stric­tions lift af­ter dipthe­ria scare

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - – Trans­la­tion by Zar Zar Soe

A quar­an­tine for res­i­dents of a ward in Yan­gon’s Min­galar­don town­ship was lifted af­ter a po­ten­tial diph­the­ria case last week, but health of­fi­cials con­tinue to mon­i­tor the pa­tient.

ABOUT 200 peo­ple in Min­galar­don town­ship’s Ti­lawka ward, who were pro­hib­ited from leav­ing their homes af­ter a diph­the­ria scare last week, were given per­mis­sion to move freely once again on July 23, ac­cord­ing to Daw Than­dar Moe, a par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Min­galar­don con­stituency.

On the evening of July 21, an eightyear-old in the ward was ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal with a high fever, sore throat and ton­sil­li­tis. Of­fi­cials put a quar­an­tine in place in the neigh­bour­hood to pre­vent a po­ten­tial spread of the in­fec­tious dis­ease.

The child, who has been hos­pi­talised at Yan­gon Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal, will be kept un­der quar­an­tine for about two more weeks and the child’s house­hold, as well as six neigh­bour­ing house­holds, will be kept un­der watch, said Daw Than­dar Moe.

“My daugh­ter has un­der­gone checks and X-rays,” Daw Maw, the child’s mother, said yes­ter­day. “The re­sults have not come back yet.”

The hospi­tal is con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor the pa­tient for diph­the­ria.

“She had a high fever for three days and then re­cov­ered,” said Daw Maw. “But she got a fever again two days later. She told me she had a sore throat. First we vis­ited a clinic but we wor­ried later and brought her to the hospi­tal.”

A few chil­dren in ar­eas out­side of Yan­gon’s Min­galar­don town­ship have suf­fered from diph­the­ria this year.

Diph­the­ria is caused by bac­te­ria, and symp­toms usu­ally be­gin two to five days af­ter a per­son be­comes in­fected. Symp­toms in­clude sore throat, fever, loss of ap­petite, and dif­fi­culty breath­ing and swallowing. It is con­ta­gious, through con­tact with in­fected peo­ple or ob­jects, 14 to 28 days af­ter the ini­tial in­fec­tion.

Diph­the­ria can in­fect peo­ple of any age, but chil­dren who have not been vac­ci­nated are es­pe­cially sus­cep­ti­ble, and it can be fa­tal, the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health said in a state­ment. About 20 peo­ple were in­fected by diph­the­ria in the first half of 2016, the state­ment said, with six of them dy­ing.

“Apart from my first son, my other three chil­dren were not vac­ci­nated be­cause we are liv­ing on low wages and we are not al­ways at home,” said Daw Maw. “I want other par­ents to know they should vac­ci­nate their chil­dren. I feel sorry for my daugh­ter’s suf­fer­ing be­cause of my fail­ure to vac­ci­nate her. And I worry that she may be iso­lated by the com­mu­nity.”

The Min­istry of Health and Sports’ five-in-one vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram in­cludes a diph­the­ria vac­cine for chil­dren at the ages of two months, four months and six months.



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