We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

Scientists in Hong Kong have reported concern about a strain of bird flu that research has shown to be present in about two per cent of chickens there. They fear the strain's widespread presence in the region increases the chance it will 'jump' to humans.

The strain — called H9N2 — is different to H5N1, the strain that killed 24 people earlier this year and led to the culling of more than 100 million domestic birds. As H9N2 is less likely to kill chickens than H5N1, the chance of it passing between species or mutating into something more dangerous is greater, say the scientists, from the University of Hong Kong.

H9N2 has been detected in pigs and at least three people in Hong Kong since 1999. The researchers are concerned that pigs can act as 'mixing vessels' in which different strains of virus can mix and swap genetic material, creating a new form more dangerous to humans.

Link to full Reuters AlertNet news story.

Related topics