Lethal dengue fever hits Irrawaddy

May 12, 2009 (DVB), A lethal strain of dengue fever has hit Burma's southern Irrawaddy division, and left hospitals struggling to cope with the influx of patients, many of whom are under seven-years-old.

A resident of Irrawaddy's Henzada town said that the local hospital was running out of beds in its children’s ward.

"The hospital staff now have to use chairs as makeshift beds for all the child patients in the town and from nearby small townships," said the resident.

"Recently, two children have died of the fever and the hospital is asking help from sympathisers to donate as many beds as they can."

He added that local clinics were also being crowded with children who suffered from the fever.

Hemorrhagic dengue fever is passed through the bite of a mosquito, and is common in Burma around the onset of the monsoon season.

Another resident from Henzada's Yongyi ward said that locals in his area were also suffering from chicken pox and an outbreak of dysentery.

Henzada township hospital and the Township Peace and Development Council were unavailable for comment.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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