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New strain of flu surfaces in Hong Kong -- three-year-old boy

hkflu at ualberta.ca hkflu at ualberta.ca
Thu Aug 28 12:03:43 EST 1997

    A three-year-old Hong Kong boy has
died after contracting a strain of
 influenza that previously was only found in birds, the Health Department
 said Wednesday. 
   The flu type, which has never been known to strike humans, has  
 been given the codename of H5N1, Director of Health Margaret Chan 
 told reporters. 

    The three-year-old boy died in Hong Kong's Queen Elizabeth  
 Hospital in May, she said. 

    Blood tests showed none of 27 people known to have come into  
 contact with the boy had been infected, and evidence so far 
 suggested this was "an isolated incident," she said. 

    "Results from the USA and Netherlands showed that the virus was  
 influenza A of H5N1 strain. This is the first time in history this 
 virus was isolated in a human being," the statement said. 

    The WHO has been advised of the discovery.  

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