- 13 Jan 2020
- 2 min read
Why in News
Avian influenza A(H9N2) virus infection has been reported in a 17-month-old boy in Maharashtra.
- This is the country’s first human case of infection with H9N2 virus. H9N2 viruses have been observed in poultry in India several times.
- About H9N2 Virus
- H9N2 is a subtype of influenza A virus, which causes human influenza as well as bird flu.
- The H9N2 subtype was isolated for the first time in Wisconsin, US in 1966 from turkey flocks.
- H9N2 viruses are found worldwide in wild birds and are endemic in poultry in many areas.
- Cases of Human Infection
- H9N2 virus infections in humans are rare, but likely under-reported due to typically mild symptoms of the infections.
- Cases of human infection have been observed in Hong Kong, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Egypt. The first case globally was reported from Hong Kong in 1998.
- Emerging Threat
- H9N2 viruses could potentially play a major role in the emergence of the next influenza pandemic.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), with avian influenza viruses circulating in poultry, there is a risk for sporadic infection and small clusters of human cases due to exposure to infected poultry or contaminated environments.