New Delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) reported the very first bird flu death in the country for this year on Tuesday after a 12-year-old child undergoing treatment for H5N1 Avian influenza passed away at its pediatric department.
“The 12-year-old boy being treated at the hospital’s D5 ward was found to be infected with H5N1 (Avian flu) after the diagnosis. The boy was suffering from leukemia and pneumonia. He was under treatment and admitted to the ICU of AIIMS in Delhi,” AIIMS officials told ANI.
“All staff who had exposure to him should monitor themselves for any signs and symptoms of flu and should report if any are present,” AIIMS officials said.
H5N1 is the short form for Highly Pathogenic Asian Avian Influenza Virus.
Avian influenza is actually strain of the influenza virus which primarily infects birds, however, can also infect humans as well. This type of flu is often contracted by contact with birds that are sick. This virus can also be passed from person to person too.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), human cases of H5N1 are rare but when infected, the mortality rate is approximately 60 per cent. The H5N1 virus might also cause severe flu with a very high mortality rate.
Bird flu is often caused by a type of influenza virus which rarely infects humans.
Nearly most cases of H5N1 infection in humans have been associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments.
The experts believe that the virus does not infect humans easily, and spreads from person to person appears to be unusual.
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.