The Karenni Backpack Relief Team said a severe whooping cough outbreak in the two villages; in northern Hpruso Township, Kayah State has killed two children and has so far infected more than 50 children.
Khu Denia, the director of the KBRT told Karen News that the disease starting to appear among village children in the first week of October.
“We are struggling to cope with the disease and at least two or three children are in a serious condition. Our medic team is doing the best it can to save them.”
According to a fact sheet issued by the Western Australian Department of Health, “Pertussis (or whooping cough) is a disease caused by infection of the throat with the bacteria Bordetella pertussis.”
Pertussis affects people in all age groups, but it is most serious in young babies and immunized children younger than 2 years of age. The fact says “Pertussis is spread to other people by droplets from coughing or sneezing. Untreated, a person with pertussis can spread it to other people for up to three weeks after onset of cough.”
The Australian fact sheet says anyone can catch pertussis.
“Pertussis is spread to other people by droplets from coughing or sneezing. Untreated, a person with pertussis can spread it to other people for up to three weeks after onset of cough.
The time between exposure and getting sick is usually seven to ten days, but can be up to three weeks.”
A local resident said.
“Two children have been killed by disease so far. They had the cough for about two weeks and their eyes turned red and sore before they died.”
The symptoms such as fever, continuously cough, sore throat, swollen eyes, and blister in the eyes can be found with the infection.
Local Villagers say there are as many as 500 people in Hta Du Khee and Kay Thet Doe villages affected by the disease.
Khu Denia explained that KBRT is now trying to control the disease among the villagers with awareness and education.
“We are focused on prevention and will give treatment to patients as much as we can. But the transportation barrier still exists. It takes us five or six days to reach Hpruso Town from the villages. It makes it difficulty for us to arrange to send serious patients to the city hospital.”
The disease outbreak started in mid-September in Hpasawng and Shadaw Townships and the latest is the second outbreak. Medics say that the outbreak this year is the worst that they have ever.