Although influenza is a highly contagious acute respiratory illness of global importance, little is known about the disease in tropical countries. An influenza survey was conducted in three sentinel sites in Yangon, Myanmar from September 2003 to December 2004. Throat or nasal swabs were collected from 616 patients with influenza-like symptoms and tested using rapid diagnostic test kits and virus isolation. Influenza B virus was detected in 6 patients from September to October, 2003. Influenza A viruses were detected in 133 patients from June to September, 2004, and the 51 influenza A viruses isolated from 72 specimens were all A⁄H3N2. Influenza virus infections occurred mainly in the rainy season in Yangon, Myanmar, but continuous ongoing influenza surveillance is needed.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a global public health problem. The HIV⁄AIDS epidemic negatively affects tuberculosis control in many countries. The United Nations has set the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aiming to halve TB prevalence and mortality by the year 2015. In this paper, the authors summarize the global situation of TB associated with HIV⁄AIDS (TB⁄HIV), WHO‘s interim policy on TB⁄HIV, as well as the status and needs of social science research. The authors reviewed two major social interventions which are critical for TB control in HIV high prevalence settings, namely those to reduce stigma and those to promote adherence to TB⁄HIV medication. The review suggests that more social science research should be implemented in resource limited countries.