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West Bengal: WHO confirms H9N2 Bird Flu case in four-year-old child; check details

The child was admitted to a local hospital's pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) in February, suffering from severe respiratory issues, high fever, and abdominal cramps. After three months of diagnosis and treatment, the patient was discharged.

West Bengal: WHO confirms H9N2 Bird Flu case in four-year-old child; check details AJR
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First Published Jun 12, 2024, 9:56 AM IST

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday(June 11) announced that a case of human infection with the H9N2 bird flu virus has been identified in a four-year-old child in West Bengal, reports said.

The child was admitted to a local hospital's pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) in February, suffering from severe respiratory issues, high fever, and abdominal cramps. After three months of diagnosis and treatment, the patient was discharged.

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The WHO reported that the child had been exposed to poultry at home and nearby. No respiratory illness symptoms were observed among family members and other close contacts.

Details regarding the child's vaccination status and antiviral treatment were not available at the time of reporting.

It can be seen that this is the second reported human case of H9N2 bird flu in India, the first being in 2019. Although the H9N2 virus usually causes mild illness, the WHO noted that more sporadic human cases could occur. The virus remains prevalent among poultry in various regions.

There was no immediate response from the Indian health ministry.

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In related news, Australian supermarket chain Coles has imposed a limit of two cartons of eggs per customer per day in all states except Western Australia. This measure aims to counter the spread of the avian influenza virus. Agriculture Minister Murray Watt reassured the public that Australian eggs are safe to consume, with no risk of contaminated eggs entering the supply chain.

Additionally, a man in Mexico died last week after contracting the H5N2 bird flu, a strain not previously confirmed in humans. The H7N3 strain, different from the H5N1 strain, has caused significant damage to wild bird and mammalian species globally but has not been found in Australia.

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