Monday, 18 November 2019

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Dengue fever infects 80 this week in Rangoon

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) –  More than 900 people in Rangoon Division were infected with dengue fever and six died in the first four months of this year, according to state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua and a well-placed source at the Burmese Medical Association in Rangoon.

Six out of a total 910 people infected with dengue died between January and May 5 and more than 80 people were infected with the potentially deadly disease this week, Xinhua reported yesterday, citing data from the Rangoon City Development Committee, without giving details.

The medical association source confirmed the figures, saying: “We have learned that six out of a total of more than 900 dengue fever patients died of this disease this year from hospital data.”

Though the exact data on affected areas was still yet unknown, the townships usually hit in Rangoon Division are Dawbon, Thaketa, South Dagon, North Dagon, Shwepyithar, Hlaingtharyar, Dala, Twante, Thanlyin, Pazundaung, Thingangyun, Phawkan and Insein.

Child dengue fever patients were being treated at Rangoon Children’s Hospital in Ahlone Township, a doctor on duty at the hospital told Mizzima. 

“Some child patients are receiving treatment for dengue fever but staff are not authorised to disclose how many patients are involved,” the doctor said. “You may ask our medical superintendent in person but we are also not authorised to give out contact numbers.”

High incidence of dengue fever is generally found in Rangoon, Pegu, Sagaing, Irrawaddy Divisions and Mon State, especially between June and September during the monsoon.

Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever are acute infectious diseases transmitted by day-feeding mosquitoes in the tropics. They can be life-threatening and are characterised by skin rashes, severe headaches and pain in the joints and back. It is also known as break-bone fever.

“Yes, there are some such patients at our hospital but you must ask doctors for the information you want as we are not authorised to answer your query”, a nurse on duty also said.

Rangoon Children’s Hospital medical superintendent also declined to give details, saying she was unauthorised to answer.
Cases in children were generally found in the 4-15 age group. Dengue spreads in urban areas aided when water was left uncovered, allowing the mosquitoes carrying the viruses to breed, such as in drains, garbage dumps, ponds and other open containers, a family doctor based in Rangoon said on condition of anonymity.

“Mosquitoes are the carriers of this deadly disease, spreading it from one person to another … When contracted, the first signs … are similar to simple influenza and then shock signs and symptoms will be seen three to five days later”, he said.

Dengue patients are generally admitted at Rangoon General Hospital, Ahlone Children’s Hospital, Thingangyun Children’s Hospital and North Okklapa Children’s Hospital.

The best way to cope with the disease was prevention, such as keeping the environment of each house clean and dry and preventing mosquito bites, the doctor suggested.

The breeding grounds of mosquitoes – such as stagnant water, old wells and ponds, canals, garbage dumps and other places where water collects – must be sprayed with insecticide to stop mosquito larvae breeding, he added.

Township health department officials were conducting awareness campaigns on the disease but they were only teaching people how to use the drugs and adjust their lifestyles for prevention of dengue, sources said. Spraying of insecticides on dirty drainage, in ponds and or at garbage dumps was not included in their programmes.

According to official statistics, 3,129 people were infected with dengue last year and 37 died.


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