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HK health authorities says no novel flu virus in HK
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Hong Kong health authorities said Friday that gene sequencing on flu viruses from two children who died amid a recent outbreak showed no novel flu virus.

The Center for Health Protection of the Department of Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said in a statement that the flu viruses from the two victims match the genetic makeup of viruses that are already circulating.

The two children who died were a 7-year-old boy and a 3-year- old girl.

"Gene sequencing results available today confirmed that the H1N1 virus found in this boy has the same genetic makeup as the circulating H1N1 (Brisbane) strain in Hong Kong," said the spokesman of the center.

"Earlier, gene sequencing results on the three-year-old girl found that H3N2 virus in the girl has same genetic composition as the circulating H3N2 (Brisbane) strain," he said.

"Both strains have been circulating in different parts of the world during the past few months," he noted.

"These results confirm that the two children did not die from a new virus that is more virulent than the circulating strains in the region," the spokesman said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2008)

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