India records first human death from bird flu


India records it first human death from bird flu after an 11-year-old boy succumbed to the disease earlier this month.

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This was disclosed by the health ministry, stating that the boy was admitted to New Delhi’s premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences on July 2. He died on Tuesday after a multiorgan failure, a government statement said late on Wednesday.

Health workers treating the patient and the boy’s family have been kept in isolation, and authorities have launched contact tracing, the statement said.

In Haryana, the boy’s home state in India’s north, the Animal Husbandry Department has not found any suspected case of bird flu but has stepped up surveillance, it said.

The boy lived in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of capital New Delhi, and was also suffering from leukaemia and pneumonia, a report by the AFP news agency said on Thursday.

The death from the bird flu virus of the H5N1 strain highlights a potential new risk for the world’s second-most populous nation battling the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 31 million people and killed over 400,000.


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