Avian Influenza A (H9N2) - India

On 22 May 2024, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point (NFP) for India reported to WHO a case of human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) virus detected in a child resident of West Bengal state in India. This is the second human infection of avian influenza A(H9N2) notified to WHO from India, with the first in 2019. The child has recovered and was discharged from hospital. According to the IHR (2005), a human infection caused by a novel influenza A virus subtype is an event that has the potential for high public health impact and must be notified to the WHO. Most human cases of infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) viruses are exposed to the virus through contact with infected poultry or contaminated environments. Human infection tends to result in mild clinical illness. Based on available information, further sporadic human cases could occur as this virus is one of the most prevalent avian influenza viruses circulating in poultry in different regions. With the currently available evidence, WHO assesses the current public health risk to the general population posed by this virus as low. However, the risk assessment will be reviewed should further epidemiological or virological information become available.