On Thursday, Myanmar health officials were reporting that an undiagnosed disease killed more than 30 children in the remote, mountainous Sagaing region in the northern parts of the country bordering India.
Health officials confirmed Friday that the outbreak that affected some 200 people was measles. Than Tun Aung, deputy director general of the disease control department at Myanmar’s health ministry, said labwork from the worst hit town of Lahal had come back positive for measles.
Those affected in this impoverished area were showing symptoms of body rashes, fever, difficulty breathing due to coughing and coughing up blood.
The number of people that died from the measles outbreak could be as high as 39 from nine villages, according to The Council of Naga Affairs.
According to the World Health Organization, measles remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 114,900 people died from measles in 2014 – mostly children under the age of 5.