Dengue fever kills 54 in six months after infections rise

Writer: 
Ei Thinzar Kyaw
The Myanmar Red Cross Society has taken preventive measures against dengue fever.

Fifty-four people have died out of the 10,101 infected with dengue fever in the first six months of the year, the Public Health Department said.
By July 1, 125 cases had been reported in Nay Pyi Taw, 271 in Kayah, 267 in Kachin, 843 in Kayin, 1025 in Mon, 1277 in Rakhine, 245 in Shan, 177 in Sagaing, 448 in Tanintharyi, 914 in Bago, 129 in Magway, 486 in Mandalay, 2501 in Yangon and 1393 in Ayeyarwady.
Of the reported deaths, there was one each in Nay Pyi Taw, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin and Magway; two in Sagaing; seven in Bago, 10 in Rakhine; and 15 each in Yangon and Ayeyarwady.
By July 12, there were 2,855 dengue infection cases in Yangon, with 18 reported deaths. In the past, dengue transmission among children under aged 15 was common. Now, more children older than 15s are coming down with the fever. Dengue infection among adults has knock-on effects. In the past, the outbreaks of dengue fever were reported mainly in urban areas. Now it has spread to rural areas.
No cases have been reported in Chin. Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Rakhine and Mon have seen the highest infection rates since the start of the dengue season.
The country has experienced a year-on-year increase in dengue infection rates. An average of more than 10,000 people are infected with dengue fever every year. About 60 per cent of those infected die. Infection rates in Yangon and Ayeyarwady are on the rise.
The department has put dengue fever on the monitoring lists of year-round diseases since 2015, given the rise in nationwide infections. Since 2013, the department has been collating the infection and death rates at private and government hospitals in an effort to get more comprehensive information about the disease.