Kachin Public Health Officials Warn on Spread of H1N1 Flu Virus

The potentially deadly form of influenza has killed at least person in Myitkyina since the current outbreak started in June.

Public health officials in Kachin State have issued a warning about the spread of the H1N1 seasonal flu virus in the state since the start of an outbreak of the disease that began last month.

According to Dr. Z. Lum Hkawng of the state’s Public Health Department, there have been 21 known cases of the potentially deadly form of influenza in the state capital Myitkyina since the beginning of June, with at least one resulting in death.

The current outbreak of the flu, popularly known as “swine flu”, has reportedly killed 62 people nationwide, including 40 in Yangon alone, according to media reports.

“There are three types of the flu—A, B and C. Types A and B have been spreading in Myitkyina. There are also many sub-types under types A and B. Type A (H1N1) and type A (H3N2) are spreading as seasonal flu,” Dr. Z. Lum Hkawng told KNG.

Seasonal flu affects people mostly during the rainy season and in winter. The flu virus enters the body through the respiratory system and is transmitted from one carrier to another through the air.

To avoid contracting or spreading the virus, Dr. Z. Lum Hkawng said that people need to cover their nose and mouth with a handkerchief when coughing or sneezing, and they should also thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water on a regular basis.

According to the Kachin State Public Health Department, 3-5 million people worldwide are affected by the flu virus every year. Of this number, an estimated 250,000-500,000 people die from the virus every year.

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