India reports first bird flu death this year at AIIMS New Delhi

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The first bird flu (Avian influenza) death has been reported in the country this year. A 12-year-old boy, who was undergoing treatment for H5N1 Avian influenza, died due to the virus, Delhi AIIMS doctors said.

The entire staff at AIIMS, New Delhi, has been placed in isolation as a preventative measure. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that bird flu can be very rare in humans, but that the death rate could be higher once infected. It said the death rate among those infected with bird flu was 60 percent.

Earlier this year, bird flu was reported in several parts of the country, including Haryana. Experts in Haryana have identified the Avian influenza virus subtype H5N8. This strain is not known to infect humans.

The Central Government has issued warnings in the wake of bird flu cases in Delhi, Kerala, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Samples of birds collected from the Delhi Red Fort in January turned out to be Avian influenza positive. The then Delhi government had ordered the closure of the Khajipur Poultry Market in this regard. Bird flu was found to be positive in more samples collected from the National Zoological Park in Delhi in February.

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