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India reports first human death from bird flu

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India has experienced repeated outbreaks of avian influenza over the past 15 years. But so far, there has been no known case of human death due to the disease.

The first human death from bird flu was recorded in India. The victim of the disease was an 11-year-old boy who died on Tuesday, The Times of India reported, citing sources of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Wednesday July 21.

It is indicated that on July 2, the child was taken to the institute with a high fever and cough.

“We thought he had Covid-19,” said a hospital source. “But when the tests proved negative, further investigation established that the boy was suffering from an infection caused by the influenza virus of avian or bird origin,” the publication quoted the source.

A search and identification of persons who could have contact with the boy are now being carried out.

India has been reported to have experienced repeated outbreaks of avian influenza over the past 15 years, mainly affecting wild and poultry. However, no human deaths have been reported as a result of the illness. Public health professionals are alarmed by this situation, newspaper sources indicate.

Avian influenza is common in birds but can sometimes be transmitted to humans. It attacks the lungs, nose and throat. It is a respiratory condition and has symptoms similar to those of the common cold. 

Numerous cases of death of people from this infection have been recorded in the world. At-risk are children and the elderly, as well as people suffering from chronic diseases.

In January of this year, a powerful outbreak of avian influenza was noted in India. The virus has been confirmed in dead wild and domestic birds in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, as well as in the Delhi metropolitan area.

Image Credit: Getty

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