The death of an eleven-year-old boy highlights a new risk for the world’s second most populous country battling the coronavirus pandemic.
The health ministry says India is investigating its first documented human death from bird flu after an 11-year-old boy died of the disease earlier this month.
A government statement said late Wednesday that the boy was admitted to the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on July 2. He died on Tuesday. The health workers treating the patient and the boy’s family have been kept in isolation and the authorities have started contact tracing, the statement said.
In Haryana, the boy’s home state in India’s north, the animal husbandry department has found no suspected case of bird flu, but surveillance has been stepped up, it said.
The health ministry said genome sequencing and virus isolation are in the process and an epidemiological investigation has been launched.
A report by AFP news agency on Thursday said the boy lived in Gurgaon on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi and was also suffering from leukemia and pneumonia.
The death from the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus highlights a potential new risk for the world’s second most populous country, battling the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 31 million people and killed more than 400,000. have been killed.
India has seen more than half a dozen bird flu outbreaks in poultry over the past 20 years, all of which were brought under control, with no human cases previously reported in the country.
Avian influenza mainly occurs in birds and poultry. In 2008, millions of chickens were killed in India.
But cases of transmission between humans are extremely rare. H5N1 first emerged in 1997, then spread between 2003 and 2011, while H7N9 was first detected in 2013.
Two types of bird flu, H5N1 and H7N9, were first detected in 2013, leading to human contamination in Asia through infected birds.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, H7N9 has infected 1,668 people and killed 616 people since 2013.
In the Indian case, the ministry said, the virus was related to the H5Nx subtype, which are considered to be of concern as they have been proven to develop into highly dangerous strains.
Last month, China revealed its first human case of bird flu, and in February, Russia detected the disease among workers at a poultry factory.