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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – At least 30 children have died in northwestern Myanmar since mid-June from an unknown disease that causes breathing difficulty, officials said Thursday.
“We have this problem since two months ago and we haven’t received any help from the government yet,” said Kay Sai, a local administrator. He said the deaths have been recorded in Nanyun and Lahe towns in the Naga region, one of the poorest in the country, about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) from Yangon, adjoining India’s Nagaland state. He said most of the victims have been younger than five.
Kay Sai said officials have not been able to identify the disease, which appears to be contagious. Blood samples have been sent to a hospital in the neighboring Saggaing division and results are awaited. There has been no response from the Ministry of Health, or the Department of Prevention of Transmitted Diseases on the outbreak. He said local authorities have temporarily banned people from traveling around to prevent contagion.