Pregnant Women in LoikawReceive H1N1 Flu Vaccine

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The measure aims to prevent the spread of a disease that has already killed dozens of people across the country.

By NAW DWE EH KHU / KANTARAWADDY TIMES

Pregnant women in the Kayah State capital Loikaw have been vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza virus as part of a push by the state and Union governments to prevent the spread of the disease, which has killed 71 people nationwideso far this year.

According to the state’s public health department, more than 500 pregnant women living in 19 wards in Loikawreceived free injections of the vaccine supplied by the Union government’s Ministry of Health and Sports.

“Because the supply is limited, we decided to prioritize vaccinating pregnant women living in 19 wards in Loikaw.Loikaw is a crowded town, so it’s easy for the flu virus to spread here,” Dr. Tun Ne Win, head of the public health department’s team to control contagious diseases, told Kantarawaddy Times, adding that healthcare workers were the first to receive the vaccine.

Women who received the injection said they were relieved that they were now protected from the disease.

“Last week I started coughing. I was worried about my baby, so I went to a clinic and I got the flu shot. I’m happy to have some protection from the flu, because I feel it’s safer for my baby,”said a womanfrom Loikaw’s Mong Lon Ward.

The public health department said that pregnant women in villages outside of Loikawwill also be vaccinated if more of the vaccine becomes available.

The symptoms of the H1N1 seasonal flu are sneezing, coughing, sore throats, aches and pains, feelings of fatigue and a body temperature above 38°C.Dr. HtayLwin, the director of KayahState’s public health department, said that certain people, including pregnant women, small children, the elderly, and patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or respiratory problems, are most vulnerable to the disease.

According to the Health and SportsMinistry, there were 384 reported cases of seasonal flu in Burma as of July 24, with 71 cases resulting in death.

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