H1N1 Influenza in Myanmar (Burma)
31 Jul 2017
An outbreak of H1N1 influenza in Myanmar has affected 34 people, of whom 6 have died in the past week. Most cases and all of the deaths have been in Yangon, although there have been 10 cases in Matupi, in the north western province of Chin. An 8 year old boy who died recently in Chin is also suspected to have had H1N1 influenza.
The Ministry of Health says that H1N1 has been circulating in Myanmar since 2009, although deaths from the infection have not occurred in recent years.
Advice for Travellers
Travellers to countries during their influenza season are at similar risk of infection as local residents.
Crowded conditions encourage spread of infection and travellers can be exposed, for example in those attending pilgrimages (e.g. the Hajj), in aircraft, waiting rooms, buses, bars, hotels and on cruises.
The composition of the 2016/2017 UK influenza vaccine includes the H1N1 strain. Travellers included in the government's at risk groups should ensure that they receive the annual influenza vaccine, particularly if travel is anticipated. Travellers outwith these groups may wish to obtain the vaccine privately (if still available) if concerned.
- One of the most important ways of preventing the spread of infection is careful and frequent hand washing.
- If soap, clean water and towels are not available, alcohol hand rub can be used.
- If possible avoid crowded places.
- If possible avoid coughs and sneezes.
For further information see Influenza.