Dengue fever cases spike in Kayah State

Kayah (Karenni) State’s capital is reporting a huge uptick in suspected dengue fever cases, according to local health workers.

Around 30 dengue cases were recorded at the Loikaw General Hospital in May. The number mushroomed to 241 in June, and 370 cases as of July 27. One fatality was recorded, according to the hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Yan Naing Maung.

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He said the hospital is seeing a rise of patients over flu season amid an outbreak of H1N1, also known as swine flu. The annual dengue cases also tend to spike during rainy season.

Dr Yan Naing Maung added that if patients present with dengue symptoms – typically high fever, pain behind the eyes, muscle, joint, and bone pain, headache and skin rash – then the hospital informs the Department of Public Health. Treatment for the virus is limited to supportive care and monitoring to avoid complications arising from the deadlier form of the illness, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.

“There is good cooperation in Kayah State and the public follows [health workers’ instructions]. The hospital staff and health workers have led awareness trainings. That’s why only one patient has died even though there is an outbreak,” said Dr Yan Naing Maung.

The Department of Public Health has reported a rise in dengue cases this year, noting between January and the end of May, 3,304 patients and 19 fatalities.