Published in Medical Letter on the CDC and FDA, September 6th, 1999
The quail flu virus was an H9N2 influenza A variant. H9N2 viruses are widespread among domestic chickens in Asia, although they occur primarily in turkeys in North America.
The killer influenza was an H5N1 variant. Although it killed six of 18 infected humans, the virus spread directly to humans from chickens and never developed the ability to spread from person to person. But it was a close call: the virus was mutating rapidly when wholesale destruction of Hong Kong poultry ended the outbreak (see Vaccine Weekly, February 2, 1998; May 11, 1998; March...
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