In February 2003, the highly pathogenic avian influenza-A virus, subtype H7N7, was the causative agent of a large outbreak of fowl plague in the Netherlands. Two days after visiting a poultry farm that was infected by fowl plague, a 57-year-old male veterinarian developed malaise, headache and fever. After 8 days he was admitted to hospital with signs of pneumonia. Five days later, his condition deteriorated alarmingly. Despite extensive pharmacotherapy he died 4 days later of acute pneumonia. Influenza-A virus, subtype H7N7, was identified by means of reverse transcriptase/PCR in broncho-alveolar washings that had been obtained earlier; routine virus culture yielded the isolate A/Nederland/219/03, which differs by 14 amino-acid substitutions from the first isolate in a chicken (A/kip/Nederland/1/03). Partly as a result of this case, the preventive measures were then adjusted; people who came into contact with infected poultry were given increased possibilities for vaccination and the administration of oseltamivir.

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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kemink, S., Fouchier, R., Rozendaal, F., Broekman, J., Koopmans, M., D.V.M., Osterhaus, A., & Schneeberger, P. (2004). Een fatale infectie door aviair influenza-A(H7N7)-virus en aanpassing van het preventiebeleid. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 148(44), 2190–2194. Retrieved from