Health Ministry closely monitoring outbreak of H9N2 cases in Northern China

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Union Health Ministry is closely monitoring the reported outbreak of H9N2 cases and clusters of respiratory illness in children in northern China.

There is low risk to India from both the avian influenza case reported from China as well as the clusters of respiratory illness.

Some media reports have indicated clustering of cases of respiratory illness in children in northern China for which WHO has also issued a statement. Based on the currently available information, an increase in incidence of respiratory diseases in China has been reported in the last few weeks, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a communique.

The usual causes of respiratory illness in children have been implicated and there has been no identification of an unusual pathogen or any unexpected clinical manifestations, it said.

A meeting was recently held under the Chairmanship of DGHS to discuss the preparedness measures against human cases of Avian Influenza in the country, against the backdrop of a human case of H9N2 (Avian influenza virus) in October 2023 in China that was reported to WHO, the communique said.

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