Conditions ripe for disease in Myanmar's devastated Irawaddy delta

Myint Hlaing's family bathes and cooks with water from an irrigation ditch fouled by human waste and a rotting cow carcass. His 10-year-old daughter drinks bottled water donated by aid groups, but she still suffers from diarrhea. Meanwhile, his family and other cyclone survivors endure daily rains in tattered thatch huts as the monsoon season nears. Myanmar's junta insists health conditions are normal in Myanmar's devastated Irawaddy delta. But in many areas of the delta, they are a recipe for disease. "Shelter is the most important thing we need," Myint Hlaing said Monday. "There are more and more mosquitoes here. We are afraid of getting dengue fever." Relief group Church World Service has reported finding elderly and child survivors of the cyclone dying from dysentery in some areas because many have no choice but to drink dirty water. Other groups have detected a number of ailments including pneumonia, malaria, cholera and diarrhea.