Myanmar H1N1 swine flu
death toll rises to 10
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[July 31, 2017] YANGON
(Reuters) - Four more people have died in an outbreak of H1N1 influenza
in Myanmar, a health official said on Monday, taking the death toll in
the latest outbreak to 10 as the government stepped up public awareness
campaigns about the swine flu virus.
The latest H1N1 outbreak began more than a week ago, said Thinzar
Aung, deputy director of the infectious diseases department at the
Ministry of Health and Sport, with Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city,
the worst affected area.
Authorities have carried out health awareness campaigns and sought
to calm public fears over the outbreak, although stores have sold
out of surgical masks in Yangon. Authorities have told the public
not to panic and described the latest outbreak as a regular seasonal
"We have never withheld any information about the infection of the
disease," heath minister Myint Htwe was quoted as saying by
state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar on Monday.
"We are releasing real information on the seasonal influenza H1N1 in
real time," he said.
H1N1 has been among the strains of flu circulating in Myanmar
seasonally since a global pandemic in 2009, although deaths from the
virus had not been reported in recent years, heath officials have
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Aside from those killed by the virus, 51 people have been confirmed
to have contracted the disease, according to the health ministry. It
has called on hospitals and clinics to report patients showing signs
of influenza-like illness.
Separately, Myanmar's livestock ministry has also reported an
outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in the south. More than 1,800 chickens
were culled after the virus was detected at a farm in the southern
town of Dawei last month.
(Reporting by Wa Lone and Yimou Lee; Editing by Paul Tait)
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