Dhaka, April 8 (IANS) A two-year-old baby from eastern Bangladesh has died of H5N1 virus, the first bird flu death in the South Asian country, a senior health official said Monday.
Mahmudur Rahman, head of the country’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Xinhua that “the seventh case of Influenza A (H5N1) has been confirmed from one of our surveillance sites in Comilla”.
Comilla is 96 km east of capital Dhaka.
He said the male child was from Chauddogram sub-district of Comilla.
The child was admitted to Comilla Medical College Hospital, later transferred to Dhaka Shishu Hospital and then to a private clinic, Rahman said.
“The child died Feb 18, 2013,” he said.
“This is the first death case of H5N1 in Bangladesh. As this child had no typical features of Influenza-like illness, his throat and nasal samples were sent for reconfirmation to CDC Atlanta, US and received confirmation April 6, 2013,” he added.
According to the official, detailed outbreak investigation was conducted.
There was strong epidemiological link with backyard poultry deaths. No other case was found among contacts during the investigation, he said.
Bangladeshi authorities in December last year destroyed 150,000 birds and 300,000 eggs as the season’s major outbreak of bird flu was detected in a poultry farm in Gazipur, on the outskirts of capital Dhaka.