Bangladesh officials report case of avian flu to WHO

A sample of the H7N9 strain of avian influenza.
A sample of the H7N9 strain of avian influenza. | Courtesy of the CDC

Health officials in Bangladesh reported one human case of avian influenza (H9N2) to the World Health Organization this month.

The case presented itself in February in a 3-year-old child who has since recovered from the illness. It is reported that the patient was in contact with sick poultry prior to their infection. 

This is the second case of avian influenza reported by the Bangladeshi government. This strain of influenza is known to be circulating in bird populations in Bangladesh and elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East. They report that additional cases and small clusters could present themselves. 

According to their report, the disease is not easily transmitted between humans and its threat level to public health is considered low. The H9N2 strain has contributed to the formation of other influenza strains including H5N1, H7N9 and H10N8. These strains have the potential to become pandemic threats. reports that globally there have been a limited number of H9N2 infections in China and Egypt. It states the mild nature of the disease and the status of reporting in affected areas indicates the number of cases is under-reported.

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