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WHO confirms human case of bird flu in West Bengal, 2nd case of H9N2 since 2019

The child, who had been exposed to poultry, was admitted to a local hospital's pediatric ICU in February with severe respiratory issues, a high fever, and abdominal cramps. After three months of diagnosis and treatment, the patient was discharged.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Kolkata Published on: June 12, 2024 9:50 IST
Bird Flu
Image Source : REUTERS/FILE PHOTO A person holds a test tube labelled "Bird Flu", in this picture illustration.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that a human infection with the H9N2 bird flu virus was detected in a four-year-old child in West Bengal, India. This marks the second such case in the country since 2019.

Patient condition and treatment

The child was admitted to a local hospital's pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) in February with severe respiratory issues, high fever, and abdominal cramps. After diagnosis and treatment, the patient was discharged three months later. The child had exposure to poultry at home and in the surrounding area. No respiratory illness symptoms were reported among the child's family or other contacts. Information on vaccination status and antiviral treatment was not available.

Virus characteristics and concerns

The H9N2 virus typically causes mild illness, but the WHO noted that further sporadic human cases could occur as the virus is prevalent in poultry across various regions. 

Lack of immediate response

There was no immediate response from the Indian health ministry at the time of reporting.

Also read | Mamata Banerjee govt announces 4 per cent DA, DR hike for West Bengal govt employees from April 1

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