Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 21
The government on Wednesday said an 11-year-old Gurugram boy who died at AIIMS, New Delhi, recently, had been confirmed through investigations to be India’s first human case of bird flu and Haryana’s disease surveillance unit was probing it.
All close contacts of the boy had been put under close surveillance. No suspected cases had been found in Gurugram yet nor had the nurses or doctors who treated the child reported any symptoms, said the Health Ministry today.
“An 11-year-old child has been reported as the first human case of H5N1 from Gurugram, Haryana. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia at AIIMS paediatrics department in June. Later he developed symptoms of fever, cough and breathing and progressed to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. He was admitted to AIIMS on July 2 and died on July 12 after multi-organ dysfunction,” the Health Ministry said today.
Advanced tests by the National Institute of Virology Pune, an ICMR lab, confirmed bird flu (H5N1) in the patient. Currently, whole genome sequencing and virus isolation are in process.
The government today said the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) received the information about the case on July 16 and the information was communicated immediately to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme State Surveillance Unit, Haryana, to initiate an epidemiological investigation into the case.
“The matter was also reported to the Animal Husbandry Department of Haryana,” the government said.
Based on the available information, the team of doctors and nurses treating the patient are being monitored since July 16 for the development of any influenza-like illness with no one reported symptomatic till date, said the Health Ministry.
Family members, close contacts and health care workers are still under surveillance and none have shown any symptoms yet, said a government statement.
Contact tracing, an active search for any symptomatic case has been carried out in the hospital and area where the case resided, said the ministry.
The government said people in Gurugram had been advised to report any symptomatic case to the health authorities, but presently there is no symptomatic individual in the area.
The Animal Husbandry Department has also not found any suspected cases of bird flu in the area and has enhanced surveillance in a 10-km zone as a precautionary measure.
All about avian influenza
Avian influenza is caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses (types H5, H7 H9) have occurred.
HOW ARE HUMANS INFECTED
Infected birds shed avian influenza virus in their saliva, mucous and feces. Human infections with bird flu viruses can happen when enough virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled. This can happen when a virus is in the air (in droplets or possibly dust) and a person breathes it in
Conjunctivitis, influenza-like illness, sometimes accompanied by nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, shortness of breath, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia, altered mental status
Avoid sources of exposure. Most human infections with avian influenza A viruses have occurred following direct or close contact with infected poultry.
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