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India closely monitoring China over the H9N2 spike

Friday, November 24, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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The Union Health Ministry announced on Friday that it is closely monitoring the reported outbreak of H9N2, the Avian influenza virus, along with clusters of respiratory illness in children in northern China. While acknowledging the situation, the ministry assured that there is a low risk to India from both the avian influenza cases in China and the clusters of respiratory illness.

In a proactive stance, the health ministry emphasized India's preparedness for any potential public health exigency arising from the current situation. The country is adopting a One Health approach, fostering a holistic and integrated roadmap to address public health issues comprehensively. The statement highlighted the significant strengthening of health infrastructure, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) recently convened a meeting to discuss preparedness measures against cases of Avian Influenza in India. This was prompted by a human case of H9N2 reported in China in October 2023. The health ministry underscored that the overall risk assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests a low probability of human-to-human spread and a low case fatality rate among reported human cases of H9N2.

While assuring the public, the ministry emphasized the importance of reinforcing surveillance in human, animal husbandry, and wildlife sectors. It also stressed the need for enhanced coordination in addressing potential health challenges.

China is currently grappling with a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in schools, causing hospitals to be overwhelmed with sick children. The situation, particularly in Beijing and Liaoning province, has led to the suspension of classes in some schools. The severity of the outbreak has raised concerns globally, reminiscent of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Ministry's proactive approach and emphasis on preparedness reflect India's commitment to tackling emerging health challenges comprehensively.

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