Diarrhea outbreak claims three lives

Apr 30, 2009 (DVB), Outbreaks of severe diarrhea have continued in several towns in Burma, with hospitals now unable to cope with the upsurge in patient numbers and several deaths being reported.

Fresh outbreaks have occurred in Nyaung Lay Pin township in Bago division and Pakokku township in Magwe division.

"At our Nyaung Lay Pin hospital, patients have to be lined up on the corridors because the hospital is full up," a local resident said.

"Up to last night, three people had died."

It is possible that the outbreak was caused by a combination of rising temperatures and people eating food contaminated by flies, said a retired local medical staff.

The illness has mainly affected poor people in Pakokku township, a local resident said.

"It is happening more among grassroots people as they are poor," he said.

"They can’t afford to drink clean water, and there is no electricity."

A member of staff on duty at Pakokku said however that the situation was not dire.

Other outbreaks have been occurring in Rangoon, Mandalay, and some towns in Irrawaddy division.

The government's health ministry has previously said it would publish details of the condition of the illness but so far there has been no report.

Reporting by Ahunt Phone Myat

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