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17 dead from H1N1 virus: Health Ministry

Men wear masks to protect themselves from H1N1 in Rangoon on 25 July 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

The number dead after contracting the H1N1 “swine flu” virus climbed to 17 on Tuesday as efforts to contain its spread and treat those infected continue.

Out of 433 patients hospitalised with respiratory tract infections from the 21 July to 8 August period, 166 of them have tested positive for the H1N1 virus, according to the Ministry of Health and Sport.

As of 2pm on Tuesday, a total of 60 in-patients were still receiving treatment after contracting H1N1; 19 at Waybargi Hospital in Rangoon and 41 at public hospitals in other states and divisions in Burma. The health conditions of a majority of those infected are reportedly improving.

Over a 24-hour period from 2pm on 7 August to 2pm yesterday, lab tests for 24 cases of suspected H1N1 infections brought back positive results in half, the Health Ministry announced.

As of 2 August, 13 people had died due to H1N1 infections.

Health officials in Burma have sought to calm fears among the public over the outbreak of H1N1, also known as swine flu.

They point out that H1N1 has been among the strains of flu circulating in the country seasonally since a global pandemic in 2009, although deaths from the virus have not been reported in recent years.

Efforts to promote public awareness concerning H1N1 have included classroom instruction to more than 1.5 million students, informational pamphlet distribution, and the posting of stickers and posters on public buses, boats and trains in the commercial capital Rangoon, according to state media.

“Local and foreign businesses, companies, United Nations organisations, international organisations and foreign donors were donating cash, medicines and medical equipment” in support of efforts to contain H1N1’s spread, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Wednesday.