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H1N1 flu virus mutation detected in HK
Updated: 2009-11-24 00:38

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's Department of Health announced Monday that it had found the same mutation in a H1N1 flu virus sample as the one detected in Norway recently.

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The department said that it had examined the genetic sequence of H1N1 flu viruses in its monitoring system. Out of the 123 sequences studied, one sample showed the same mutation as the Norway strain.

The virus was taken from a year-old boy who developed flu-like symptoms July 22. He was admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital July 25 and discharged three days later. He has recovered.

Mutations are frequently encountered in influenza viruses. According to the World Health Organization, the same mutation of the virus has been found on the Chinese Mainland and in other countries, including Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Ukraine and the United States.

The virus with this mutation remained sensitive to antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza. No evidence suggests these mutations are leading to an unusual increase in the number of H1N1 flu infections or a greater number of severe or fatal cases.