India reports first human death from Avian influenza
India has reported the first human death due to Avian influenza as an 11-year-old boy succumbed to the virus H5N1 in Gurugram, a satellite city of Delhi, in Haryana state.
The boy was diagnosed with the disease in the paediatrics department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi in June and he developed symptoms of fever, cough, coryza, and breathing difficulty, the Indian health ministry said in a statement this evening.
The boy was admitted to the AIIMS on July 2, suffered from multi organ dysfunction and died on July 12. The boy had tested negative for Covid-19, the ministry said.
The National Institute of Virology in Pune confirmed the infection and whole genome sequencing and virus isolation is in process, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The team of doctors and nurses, who treated the boy, is being monitored since July 16 for development of any influenza-like illness but no one has so far reported any symptom, the ministry said.
Contact tracing was undertaken and family members, close contacts and health care workers are under close surveillance.
None of the close contacts of the boy has any symptom. There are also no symptomatic individuals in the area at present.
The Animal Husbandry Department has not found any suspected cases of bird flu in the area and has enhanced surveillance in a 10km radius as a precautionary measure.
AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said there is no need for panic as human-to-human transmission of H5N1 is "very rare."
The H5N1 is usually transmitted to poultry through migratory birds, he said.
In January this year, four Indian states Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Haryana had culled poultry birds after the disease was reported.