Disease Outbreak Sickens Over 80 Villagers, 47 Seriously
28 December 2011: Over 80 people have fallen ill after being contracted with a mysterious infectious disease in three villages in Falam Township, Chin State.
The outbreak, which started on December 18, has overwhelmed local health officials who scrambled an emergency response team to respond to a rapidly growing number of people falling ill in Hnahthial, Ngailan and Haimual villages.
At least 47 villagers are now described as being in ‘serious’ conditions.
A local villager told Chinland Guardian, “People came down with Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea and coughing. Children under 10 years old particularly have contracted the disease.”
While there has been no reported death, the local said that there are reasons to be concerned about such a possibility.
Hnahthial village, which has about 40 households, has been hardest hit with about 50 of the villagers being sick. In Ngailan Village, which has only 14 households, 20 people have fallen ill. With a total of 22 households, Haimual Village has also seen 10 locals struck by the mysterious illness.
Local health officials have yet to identify the disease.
Recently named Burma’s poorest state by the United Nations, Chin State has only 12 full-fledged hospitals for a population of half a million people.
Despite the extreme needs, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party government did not set up a health or education ministry at the State level.