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NEW DELHI, Nov. 24, 2023 (TBINN)

India is prepared for any kind of exigency that may emerge from the current influenza-situation in China, the government said today, highlighting that it is monitoring the outbreak of H9N2 and clusters of respiratory illness in children in that country.

There is a low risk to India from both the avian influenza — H9N2– case reported in China as well as the clusters of respiratory illness, Union Health Ministry said.

Some reports have indicated clustering of cases of respiratory illness in children in northern China, for which, World Health Organization has also issued a statement, it said.

Based on available information, an increase in incidence of respiratory diseases in China has been reported in the last few weeks. 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, Union Health Ministry cleared.

Recently, a meeting was held under the Directorate-General of Health Services 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 in China that was reported to W.H.O., it said.

The overall risk assessment by W.H.O. indicates a low probability of human-to-human spread and low case fatality rate among human cases of H9N2 reported to W.H.O., so far. The need for strengthening surveillance among human, animal husbandry and wildlife sectors and improving co-ordination was recognised. India is prepared for any kind of public health exigency, Union Health Ministry added.

World Health Organization said it has made an official request to China for detailed information on the spike in respiratory illnesses after Chinese Health authorities reported multiple infectious respiratory diseases with surging cases of mycoplasma pneumonia and influenza flu among children.

Union Health Ministry also said India is embarking on a One Health approach to adopt a holistic and integrated roadmap towards addressing such public health issues. There has also been a significant strengthening of health infra-structure especially since COVID Pandemic, it said.

Union HealthMinistryalso mentioned that India’s surveillance and detection networks under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (I.D.S.P.) have rich experience of dealing with challenging health situations during the COVID Pandemic, the Ministry cleared.

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