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'Prepared for any kind of...' India closely monitoring H9N2 outbreak, respiratory illness in China

Union Health Ministry on Friday said it is closely monitoring the reported outbreak of H9N2 cases and clusters of respiratory illness in children in northern China. “There is a low risk to India from both the avian influenza cases reported from China as well as the clusters of respiratory illness," it added.

India closely monitoring H9N2 outbreak respiratory illness in China gcw
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First Published Nov 24, 2023, 3:30 PM IST

Amid the increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases in China, the Union Health Ministry on Friday said it is closely monitoring the reported outbreak of H9N2 cases and clusters of respiratory illness in children in northern China. The statement further said, "There is low risk to India from both the avian influenza case reported from China as well as the clusters of respiratory illness. India is prepared for any kind of exigency that may emerge from the current situation."

"India is embarking on a One Health approach to adopt a holistic and integrated roadmap towards addressing such public health issues. There has also been a significant strengthening of health infrastructure especially since the COVID pandemic,” said the health ministry in a statement.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) "overall risk assessment indicates a low probability of human to human spread and low case fatality rate among human cases of H9N2 reported to WHO so far," the health ministry stated in a statement.

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The Directorate General of Health Services chaired a meeting to discuss preparedness against human cases of Avian Influenza in the country after a human case of H9N2 was reported to the World Health Organisation from China last month.

The ministry also stressed upon the need for strengthening surveillance among human, animal husbandry and wild life sectors and improving coordination.

China is facing another possible health emergency after Covid-19 -- a mysterious pneumonia outbreak has swept through schools and resulted in hospitals being overwhelmed with sick children. This has caused concern among global health experts. The epicentres of this outbreak are Beijing and Liaoning province, where pediatric hospitals are facing an overwhelming number of sick children. 

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