The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has said the 12-year-old boy from Haryana’s Gurugram, who had bird flu and was undergoing treatment, had succumbed to acute myeloid leukemia and related complications. He was admitted to AIIMS on July 2 and died on July 12.
As a precautionary measure to avoid any chance of the H5N1 virus outbreak, details of the case were conveyed to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and their team has started contact tracing and to see if there are any more cases with similar symptoms with whom the child has come in contact. Areas falling within 10km radius of his home in Gurugram’s Chakkarpur village were kept under surveillance for 10 days. People are being made aware of the symptoms of bird flu.
“Sushil Kumar died at AIIMS, Delhi due to myeloid leukemia and related complications," TOI quoted Dr Rachna Seth, professor at the department of paediatrics, AIIMS in a letter issued on Thursday, adding that the parents of the minor child also received his death certificate on the same day.
“The poultry farms in the district are also being continuously checked by the Animal Husbandry department. At present, there are about 20 poultry farms in the district. Teams have been formed for checking them. Seventeen teams are working separately for the survey in Chakkarpur village and the surrounding 10-km radius. Apart from this, 28 teams have been constituted to check all poultry farms in the district," said Punita Gehlawat, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department.
Appealing to the general public, Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg said the information about sick or dead birds should be given to the Animal Husbandry department immediately.
“There is no harm in eating well-cooked chicken or eggs as according to experts the virus gets destroyed at 70-degree temperature. The administration has also issued an advisory for poultry farmers and people associated with poultry business," Garg added.
AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria had recently said that human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus is very rare and there is no need to panic. However, there is a need to do contact tracing and also take samples and look for any poultry deaths in the area from where the child who died due to the virus was residing, he said.
Dr Neeraj Nischal, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at AIIMS, said Avian influenza or bird flu is predominately a zoonosis, and there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission so far. “Although few isolated family clusters have been reported, transmission in these clusters may have occurred through common exposure and in rare situation a very close physical contact; there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission via small-particle aerosols," he said.
(with agencies inputs)