Karen State Health Department Tone Down H1N1 Flu Warnings, But Raise Alarm On Dengue Fever

As more cases of influenza (H1N1) are confirmed in several different locations in Burma including the former capital, Rangoon, Karen State Health Department officials have informed residents not to be overly frightened by the deadly flu.

Doctor Kyaw Swar Myint, the Deputy Chief of the State Department of Public Health, made the call in a speech delivered at the World Malaria Day and an ASEAN Dengue Fever Day ceremony held at Zwe Ka Bin Hall in Hpa-an on August 1.

Dr. Kyaw Swar Myint said that people should not be frightened “too much” about the contagious seasonal flu H1N1.

“Be aware of the H1N1 flu, but don’t be over-worried about it.” Dr. Kyaw Swar Myint said in his speech. “It is not that a bad situation yet. One more thing is that the Public Health Department is also trying to let people know important updates regarding the disease at the right time. What I want to say is that only listen to the confirmed reports and if you follow the instruction, there will not be an outbreak.”

Doctor Kyaw Swar Myint also said that people should also be aware of the deadly dengue fever because it is on the increase in Karen State.

After a H1N1 suspected patient was found in Rangoon Public Hospital on the 15th of July and more patients in Chin state, Tanintharyi region and Mon State, it led to public concerns about the the potential of the flu spreading.

The State Department’s Public Health confirmed that the news on the social media sites about a 19-year-old male who died because of the H1N1 virus on the 29th of July in Hpa-an Public hospital was a rumor and not the truth.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and Sports released a statement regarding the country’s current disease condition, disease monitoring, prevention and what responses are being done.

Karen State Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department Director Doctor Myint Naing told Karen News, “We are inspecting livestock zone regarding bird flu (avian influenza). We check their bio-security provided. We make trainings. Until now, we have found nothing suspicious of H5N1.”

According to the statement announced by the Ministry of Health and Sport, from July 21st to August 1, there were 12 deaths out of the 76 infected patients nationwide with seasonal flu H1N1 pdm 2009 positive.

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