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During the 2003 outbreak of avian influenza caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus A/H7N7 in the Netherlands, human infection with this virus occurred in unexpectedly high numbers. The first signs of human infection were found in a veterinarian who visited several farms with infected poultry and subsequently developed acute conjunctivitis caused by the A/H7N7 virus. Human influenza virus (mostly A/H3N2) was circulating in the community simultaneously. In view of the potential risk of co infection and reassortment, active case finding among people exposed to infected poultry was implemented immediately.


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