Updated: July 22, 2021 10:04:33 am
An 11-year-old boy died of H5N1 avian influenza Tuesday, making this the first recorded death due to the bird flu in India this year.
An AIIMS official stated that the boy had been admitted to the hospital on July 2 and that he died on Tuesday. The official added that all staff who had been in contact with the patient are under isolation.
Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease caused by Influenza Type A viruses which generally affects poultry such as chickens and turkeys. It does not spread easily to humans. People who have come in close contact with infected birds, dead or alive, can contract the H5N1 flu but according to the WHO, it does not usually spread from person to person. The WHO has also pointed out that there is no evidence for the virus to spread through properly prepared and cooked poultry as the virus is sensitive to heat and dies in cooking temperatures. However, it can be deadly when it does infect humans, with a mortality rate of almost 60%.
Earlier this year, in January, the deaths of a large numbers of birds in various parts of the country had raised the bird flu alarm and the virus was detected in birds in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana and Maharashtra. Samples from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Kerala had tested positive for the A (H5N8) strain of the virus, while samples from Himachal Pradesh had tested positive for A (H5N1).
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