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The outbreak of H1N1 influenza in Myanmar, that began more than one week ago, has resulted in at least 10 fatalities, according to a Reuters report Monday.

generic influenza virion
3D influenza/CDC

The situation has got so bad that Myanmar health authorities asked the World Health Organization for help to combat a deadly outbreak of swine flu last week.

“We have requested help from the WHO,” including diagnosis equipment and medicine, deputy director general of the public health department Than Tun Aung said.

Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, has been hardest hit by the outbreak.

Authorities have carried out health awareness campaigns and sought to calm public fears over the outbreak, although stores have sold out of surgical masks in Yangon. Authorities have told the public not to panic and described the latest outbreak as a regular seasonal occurrence.

The outbreak, that has sickened scores, prompted the cancellation of the country’s largest annual nat festival scheduled to begin on Monday in Taung Pyone near Mandalay.

Hundreds of thousands of people from across Myanmar flock to the annual festival in Taung Pyone village, 15 miles north of Mandalay. It is held in honor of two brothers—Min Gyi and Min Lay—who were believed to have become nat spirits after they were executed by King Anawrahta.