Published in TB and Outbreaks Week, October 11th, 1999
While the only two identified cases were non-fatal, the new type A H9N2 virus is the source from which the lethal H5N1 virus obtained its replicative machinery (see Vaccine Weekly, September 6, 1999).
Fortunately, the H5N1 virus that killed six people was eradicated by the wholesale slaughter of poultry before it could develop the ability to spread from person to person. But serologic evidence suggests that humans continue to be infected with H9N2 virus, to which they have no innate immunity.
It is unclear whether the H9N2 virus can spread from human to human or, as...
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