MYANMAR : Yangon : Days after Myanmar authorities claimed to have brought a measles outbreak that has killed dozens in a remote and impoverished region under control, another child has died of the illness.
A health ministry official said Sunday that the six-year-old died late Saturday, bringing the death toll to 42 in nine villages in the Naga Self-Administered Zone in Sagaing region, a mountainous area populated by people from the Naga tribes on the border with India.
“The child was in his final stage [of life] when the doctors arrived at the village,” Zone Chairman Kay Sai told Anadolu Agency by phone.
State-run newspapers reported Friday that no more deaths from the viral diseases had been reported in the region as the situation was finally under control.
A medical team, however, is yet to reach to some villages in the area due to transportation difficulties.
A major factor in the spread of the disease has been the problem officials had reaching the remote area to administer vaccines.
Myint Han, head of the department of medical care under the Ministry of Health and Sports, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday that around 20 people remain in critical condition in intensive care.
“The doctors are also administrating the vaccinations for children and some adults in the area,” he said.
On Aug. 7, state media reported that many of those suffering had “measles”, with the virus found in the blood of three out of five children tested.
Early reports suggested that the then unknown illness led to rashes, a difficulty breathing, and the patient coughing up specks of blood.
It is one of the many infections that have struck the area since early June, with hundreds affected by viral diseases including diarrhea, influenza, cough and eye problems.
Around 120,000 people live in Sagaing, where many Naga communities — a conglomeration of several tribes inhabiting the northeastern part of India and northwestern Myanmar — are impoverished and inaccessible by road.
Measles — a highly infectious viral illness — is uncommon in many societies due to the effectiveness of vaccinations.