The seasonal influenza and dengue fever this year has claimed more lives than in the past in Myanmar. The health department announced that 109 people from all over the nation had passed away due to the seasonal influenza as of 6 September and 68 have passed away from dengue fever as of 10 August.
While these communicable diseases spread every year and are not uncommon, the extreme weather this rainy season has contributed to their ability to spread quickly over a wider area. This of course took the death rate higher as well as only 38 people passed away from among the 406 patients who contracted the seasonal influenza in 2017 while 109 have passed away from the 672 patients this year. The numbers have tripled.
The majority of those deaths occurred in Yangon Region followed by Ayeyawady Region. About 57% of fatal incidents involved people between the ages of 15 to 65, 14% involved ages 1 to 5, 13% involved ages 5 to 15, 9% involved ages 65 and above, and 7% involved infants under a year old.
However, the seasonal influenza isn’t the sole cause of those deaths. It complicated the health situation of those who already either had diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, chronic illnesses or were too young or too old. Severe infections exhibit symptoms such as high fever, excessive coughing, fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, difficulty or rapid breathing, fidgeting, and fainting. If any of these symptoms occur it is advisable to seek treatment at the nearest clinic or hospital.
Dengue fever also spreads the most in Yangon and Ayeyawady regions. It is carried by mosquitoes and is on the rise all over the world. Last year, 23,000 people contracted dengue fever and 112 of them died from the disease. This year, 13,048 people contracted dengue fever between January to 10 August and 68 people have died. Dengue fever usually spreads until September so we must take precautions to ensure it doesn’t spread any further.
Everybody must take precautions against the communicable seasonal influenza and maintain a lifestyle that promotes healthy living while those in authority must carry out their tasks to prevent the diseases from spreading and claiming lives.