The Yangon Public Health Department announced an increase in dengue fever cases in the region. As of Friday, June 2, there are over 1000 cases in the first five months of 2017. According to health officials, only 270 cases were reported during the same time period last year. The Regional Director of the Department of Public Health said that the suburban areas of Yangon are the worst hit areas, including the townships of Hlaing Tharyar, East Dagon, North Dagon, South Dagon, and Dagon Seikkan.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease found mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Symptoms of classic dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rash. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging. Health experts blame a lack of sanitation and unhygienic water storage for these most recent dengue fever outbreaks.
Individuals in Myanmar are advised to consume only bottled or purified water, avoid foods that cannot be thoroughly cooked, peeled, or disinfected, and to protect themselves against mosquitoes (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito-netting or in an air conditioned room). Dengue-carrying mosquitoes will bite both during the day and night. Those presenting symptoms should seek medical advice.