Lab report gives reprieve to people who came in contact with man who died of bird flu virus

- ARJUN POUDEL, Kathmandu

Jul 8, 2019-

Test results of all specimens collected from the people who came in contact with a man who died of H5N1 virus (bird flu) have returned negative, according to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. 

The division said the World Health Organization had informed the office of the test results.

The division had collected 179 samples, from those who came in close contact with the deceased.

Of the 179 samples, 172 were taken from hospital staff—doctors, nurses, lab technicians, cleaning staff—who were involved in the treatment of the patient. The remaining seven samples were from the family members of the deceased.

“They have informed us that all samples have tested negative for H5N1,” Dr Bibek Kumar Lal told the Post.

Among the samples, 42 were sent for tests at UN health body’s Collaborating Centre for Influenza in Japan. The same laboratory had confirmed the virus for the cause of death of the 21-year-old man from Kavrepalanchok district.

The man, who had been residing in a rented room in Bhaktapur, had died of bird flu virus on March 29, while he was undergoing treatment for influenza like illness in a Kathmandu-based hospital.

Following confirmation that the deadly virus was responsible for the death of a patient, a 35-member rapid response team comprising experts from the WHO regional Office in Delhi, WHO Nepal country office, WHO South East Asia Region, Food and Agriculture of the United Nations, UNICEF, World Food Programme was formed to carry out epidemiological surveillance.

Doctors from Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku, lab technicians from the National Public Health Laboratory, doctors from Patan Hospital, members of the National Health Information Education and Communication Centre and experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development had also participated in the surveillance.

The division said that the WHO team would formally hand over the report to the Health Ministry officials soon.

Published: 08-07-2019 08:05

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