Kerala Health Team Monitors Situation Following Reports of Respiratory Illness Clusters in China
Kerala Health Minister Veena George has confirmed that her team is on high alert and closely monitoring the situation following the outbreak of H9N2, the Avian influenza virus, along with clusters of respiratory illness affecting children in northern China. The minister made this statement after convening a meeting with experts and doctors in the state to discuss the evolving scenario.
Addressing the concerns, Minister George mentioned that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had engaged in discussions with China regarding the reported pneumonia cases in children. China, according to her, has assured that there is no cause for alarm. She emphasized that the response strategy adopted by Indian states, including Kerala, differed from China and other nations.
“Our experts have highlighted that the approach taken by Indian states was distinct, with China opting for a more extended lockdown during the Covid outbreak. China, in contrast, eased restrictions only a year after the lockdown. Globally, it has been observed that the natural immunity in children has diminished due to the pandemic, a phenomenon China is currently experiencing. Similar infections have occurred in other countries earlier,” explained Minister George.
She reiterated that the health experts in Kerala continue to closely monitor the situation, with the state’s health team on alert. The Union Health Ministry of India echoed this sentiment, stating that it is actively monitoring the H9N2 outbreak in northern China.
The ministry emphasized that the risk to India from the reported avian influenza cases in China, as well as the clusters of respiratory illness, is low. Assuring preparedness for any potential emergency arising from the situation, the health ministry emphasized the country’s capability to respond effectively.
As the global health community keeps a watchful eye on the evolving situation in China, Kerala remains proactive in its measures to prevent and address any potential health challenges related to the H9N2 outbreak.