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November 13, 2019

Well informed community crucial to combating swine flu

  • Seasonal influenza has been impacting regional countries and others across the globe. Myanmar has seen 281 cases of the virus this year, between 1 January and 16 July. People within the 15 to 65 age group make up 51% of those afflicted.
    Upon examining those who had contracted the influenza virus, we can see that although the death toll is not high, it is most dangerous to elderly people and young children, especially those with compounded health problems.
    More deaths were seen in people with diabetes and hypertension. With H1N1 becoming a seasonal flu virus strain in Myanmar, it is advisable that health-care workers and others at risk are vaccinated.
    Besides vaccinations, there needs to be greater education so that people adopt precautionary measures, such as frequent hand washing, and taking precautions when coughing.
    Of the 56 people who have died, 45% were from the 15-65 age group and 44 people died due to having numerous conditions, making up 75% of the deceased.
    We have found that seeking medical attention too late, despite identification of early symptoms, has increased the death toll.
    As of 16 July 2019, some 117 patients with seasonal influenza have recovered after their hospital treatment and have been discharged, while 44 inpatients are steadily recovering.
    Further, 682 patients received medical examinations and 281 patients were confirmed to carry the virus.
    The Ministry of Health and Sports collaborates, in line with International Health Regulations 2005, with the World Health Organization, as well as regional and affiliated organizations, on administering communicable disease surveillance to prevent the rise of public health problems and epidemics.
    The government, departments, public citizens and affiliated organizations have increased work on monitoring, patient treatments, raising health awareness, and preventing and responding to the current seasonal influenza.
    The Ministry of Health and Sports has arranged for hospital staff across the states and regions to be vaccinated first with those vaccines distributed by the ministry.
    It is also important to provide health education on seasonal influenza in townships with diagnosed patients, screening of new patients, monitoring the virus and performing medical check-ups on family members.
    The Ministry of Health and Sports urges the public to follow the Health Ministry’s precautionary measures, which include avoiding crowds, frequent washing of hands, use of disposable tissues when sneezing and coughing, and cleaning utensils and plates before use.
    The media is also requested to distribute correct information to the public on emergency responses, monitoring, prevention and control, treatment, and health awareness activities in connection with seasonal influenza.

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