An 11-year-old child has been reported as the first human case of Bird Flu (H5Nx) from Gurugram, Haryana, an official release by the Health Ministry informed.
The male child was diagnosed with AML in the Paediatrics department, AIIMS, Delhi in June 2021. He developed symptoms of fever, cough, coryza, and breathing difficulty, soon after induction therapy for AML. He was diagnosed as AML with febrile neutropenia with pneumonia and shock, which progressed to ARDS. He was admitted to AIIMS, New Delhi on 2nd July 2021. The boy suffered from multi organ dysfunction and died on 12 July 2021.
Department of Microbiology AIIMS received the Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) for respiratory panel testing on 7 and 11 July 2021. The sample has tested Positive for both Influenza A and Influenza B. It was also negative for SARS COV-2 and other respiratory viruses. Subtyping for Influenza A remained inconclusive with available reagents for H1N1 and H3N2 at AIIMS. So, the samples were sent to NIV on 13th July 2021
At NIV, both the samples were tested for Influenza A and Influenza B along with Influenza A seasonal (H1N1, H1N1 pdm09 and H3N2), non-seasonal avian subtypes (H5, H7, H9 and H10) by Real time PCR. The result showed that the sample is positive for A/H5 and Type B Victoria lineage. Whole genome sequencing and Virus isolation is in process.
NCDC, Delhi received information on July 16th, 2021 from AIIMS, Delhi along with a lab report from NIV Pune. The information was communicated to the IDSP State Surveillance Unit (SSU), Haryana to initiate an epidemiological investigation into the case. The matter was also reported to the Animal Husbandry Department. A team from NCDC composed of Epidemiologists and Microbiologists was constituted and the team immediately visited AIIMS, New Delhi and Gurugram for undertaking an epidemiological assessment. The State health department and the animal husbandry department officials are also involved in the investigation.
Based on the available information, the team of doctors and nurses treating the patient are being monitored since 16th July 2021 for the development of any influenza-like illness with no one reported symptomatic till date. Contact tracing was undertaken and family members, close contacts and health care workers are under close surveillance. None of the close contacts has any symptoms. Contact tracing, an active search for any symptomatic case has been carried out in the hospital and area where the boy resided.
Further, epidemiological investigation by NCDC, involving animal husbandry department and State government surveillance unit, is underway and appropriate public health measures have been instituted.