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H7N2 Bird Flu on Duck Farm in Sullivan New York

Recombinomics Commentary
June 14, 2005

>>  South Korea has halted the import of poultry products from New York state after the United States reported a suspicious case of bird flu in the region, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department informed the World Organization for Animal Health on June 10 of the outbreak of a low-pathogenic bird flu case on a duck farm in Sullivan, New York, the ministry said.

The virus is known as the H7N2 strain, but it can develop into a high-pathogenic one and infect humans, the ministry said, adding the U.S. farm authorities are conducting further tests. <<

Additional testing of H7N2 in New York will be of interest.  The two avian sero-types that have produced reported fatalities in humans are H5N1 and H7N7.  Highly pathogenic versions of both sero-types have been isolated with a polybasic cleavage site.  H7 appears to be efficiently transmitted human-to-human, but disease is usually mild.  The largest outbreak in humans was in 2003 in the Netherlands involving H7N7.  H7N7 has also caused equine flu.  This season H7 has been detected in North Korea and Indonesia.

Last season H7N2 bird flu was detected in the United States in the Delmarva peninsula.  In addition, H7N2 antibodies were detected in a New York resident who was hospitalized for two weeks in November 2003 with fever and cough.

More information on the H7N2 in New York this year would be useful.

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