In November of 1997 an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza occurred near the town of Tamworth, in northern New South Wales, Australia. The viruses isolated from chickens on two commercial chicken farms were identified as H7N4 viruses, with hemagglutinin cleavage site amino acid sequences of RKRKRG and intravenous pathogenicity indices of 2.52 and 2.90, respectively. A virus with an identical nucleotide sequence, but with an intravenous pathogenicity index of 1.30, was also isolated from cloacal swabs collected from asymptomatic emus kept on a third property.
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