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A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, H5N1, caused disease outbreaks in poultry in China and seven other east Asian countries between late 2003 and early 2004; the same virus was fatal to humans in Thailand and Vietnam. Here we demonstrate a series of genetic reassortment events traceable to the precursor of the H5N1 viruses that caused the initial(More)
The origin of the H5N1 influenza viruses that killed six of eighteen infected humans in 1997 and were highly pathogenic in chickens has not been resolved. These H5N1 viruses transmitted directly to humans from infected poultry. In the poultry markets in Hong Kong, both H5N1 and H9N2 influenza viruses were cocirculating, raising the possibility of genetic(More)
The transmission of H9N2 influenza viruses to humans and the realization that the A/Hong Kong/156/97-like (H5N1) (abbreviated HK/156/97) genome complex may be present in H9N2 viruses in southeastern China necessitated a study of the distribution and characterization of H9N2 viruses in poultry in the Hong Kong SAR in 1999. Serological studies indicated that(More)
BACKGROUND In May, 1997, a 3-year-old boy in Hong Kong was admitted to the hospital and subsequently died from influenza pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, Reye's syndrome, multiorgan failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. An influenza A H5N1 virus was isolated from a tracheal aspirate of the boy. Preceding this incident, avian(More)
Pigs are permissive to both human and avian influenza viruses and have been proposed to be an intermediate host for the genesis of pandemic influenza viruses through reassortment or adaptation of avian viruses. Prospective virological surveillance carried out between March 1998 and June 2000 in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of(More)
The transmission of avian H5N1 influenza viruses to 18 humans in Hong Kong in 1997 with six deaths established that avian influenza viruses can transmit to and cause lethal infection in humans. This report characterizes the antigenic and biological properties of the H5N1 influenza viruses isolated from chickens, ducks, and geese from farms and poultry(More)
A current view of the emergence of pandemic influenza viruses envisages a gene flow from the aquatic avian reservoir to humans via reassortment in pigs, the hypothetical "mixing vessel." Understanding arising from recent H5N1 influenza outbreaks in Hong Kong since 1997 and the isolation of avian H9N2 virus from humans raises alternative options for the(More)
Swine influenza A viruses (SwIV) cause significant economic losses in animal husbandry as well as instances of human disease and occasionally give rise to human pandemics, including that caused by the H1N1/2009 virus. The lack of systematic and longitudinal influenza surveillance in pigs has hampered attempts to reconstruct the origins of this pandemic.(More)
This account takes stock of events and involvements, particularly on the avian side of the influenza H5N1 'bird flu' incident in Hong Kong SAR in 1997. It highlights the role of the chicken in the many live poultry markets as the source of the virus for humans. The slaughter of chicken and other poultry across the SAR seemingly averted an influenza(More)