Dengue kills 18 people in first week of June
Health authorities said it recorded 18 deaths nationwide due to dengue fever in the first week of June, but said it has taken measures and launched an awareness campaign to fight the mosquito-borne disease.
MORE than 2690 cases of dengue, resulting in 18 deaths, were reported nationwide, except in Chin State, in the first week of June, according to the Department of Public Health.
The rate of dengue may increase in June and July, so people should be aware the risk of the disease, warned the department.
Dr Zaw Lin, the department’s dengue programme manager, said that the incidence of the disease is likely to increase yearly, based on their records, but noted the death rate is exhibiting a downward trend.
“The role of the public is important to fight the disease. The death rate among hospitalized patients is less than 1 percent. So, people should go to the hospital or clinic if they feel the symptoms of the disease,” he said.
Looking at the rate of dengue in the country, the incidence this year is higher than 2016 but lower than 2017 and 2015, the department said.
“We can say the ministry now is more concerned and investing in a dengue control programme this year, and the health minister ordered us to activate a dengue prevention and control programme,” said U Zaw Lin.
The department has launched an advocacy meeting for dengue prevention and control nationwide to raise public awareness with the support of the World Health Organisation ( WHO).
This year, Yangon Region has recorded the highest rate, with 705 cases and six deaths, and Tanintharyi, Ayeyarwaddy and Mon regions were also high, with 516, 373 and 267 cases respectively, according to a department statement on June 2.
Stephan Paul Jost, country representative of WHO, said that dengue is a major public health con- sequence for millions of people in Asia and around the world. “We all know that there is no specific treatment for dengue. Therefore, prevention is key,” he said.
U Tun Myint, director of Yangon Region Public Health Department, said that they have many challenges in implementing a mosquito control programme.
“Yangon also has hard-to-reach areas like high-rise buildings when we do dengue prevention. Public interest is important for us when we do our work,” he said.
Children are particularly susceptible to the virus. The symptoms are typically flu-like, and can include joint and muscle pain as well as high fever.
An estimated 50 million dengue infections occur worldwide annually. A large proportion, approximately almost 90 percent of them, are children under age five. About 25 percent of those affected die, according to WHO.