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Flu Pandemic Monitoring in Hong Kong

Recombinomics Commentary
December 31, 2004

>> The Government is to step up a surveillance mechanism for influenza by gazetting the addition of influenzas A (H7) and (H9) to the list of infectious diseases specified in the First Schedule to the Quarantine & Prevention of Diseases Ordinance.<<

Hong Kong has added H7 and H9 to H5 as reportable avian influenza diseases.  Examples of human infections by all 3 avian subtypes have been noted. 

However there have been recent reports of turkeys infected with H3N2 from swine in the United States (Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Missouri).

Moreover recent H1N1 isolates from swine in Korea have one avian gene (PB2), while H9N2 swine isolates have 5, 4 , or 3 genes virtually identical to the popular, but lethal, human lab flu virus WSN/33.  Since these viruses have 3-7 human genes from a1933 isolate, they offer dangerous new reassortment and recombination possibilities in humans, birds, and pigs, in addition to the combinations previously noted.

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