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Br Med J. 1971 Feb 27; 1(5747): 475–479.
PMCID: PMC1795206

Epidemiology of the Hong Kong/68 Variant of Influenza A2 in Britain


Two influenza epidemics in Britain in 1968-9 and 1969-70, were due to the Hong Kong/68 variant of influenza A2 virus. The first epidemic was prolonged with low morbidity and mortality rates; the second was sharp with high rates. The difference between total morbidity and mortality in the two epidemics, however, was less than it appeared to be—the estimated excess morbidity and mortality due to all causes in 1969-70 was only about 50% greater than in 1968-9.

Antibody studies showed that about one-quarter of two groups of adults investigated were infected in the first epidemic and about one-third in the second. After the two epidemics about one-third still had no antibody to the A2/Hong Kong/68 virus.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cockburn WC, Delon PJ, Ferreira W. Origin and progress of the 1968-69 Hong Kong influenza epidemic. Bull World Health Organ. 1969;41(3):345–348. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Miller DL, Lee JA. Influenza in Britain 1967-68. J Hyg (Lond) 1969 Sep;67(3):559–572. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • PEREIRA HG, PEREIRA MS, LAW VG. ANTIGENIC VARIANTS OF INFLUENZA A2 VIRUS. Bull World Health Organ. 1964;31:129–132. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pereira MS, Chakraverty P, Pane AR, Fletcher WB. The influence of antigenic variation on influenza A2 epidemics. J Hyg (Lond) 1969 Sep;67(3):551–557. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pereira MS, Miller DL, Clarke M. Serological evidence of infection with A2 Hong Kong influenza virus during the epidemic in Britain 1968-9. Br Med J. 1969 Dec 27;4(5686):815–815. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pereira MS, Schild GC. An antigenic variant of the Hong Kong-68 influenza A 2 virus. J Hyg (Lond) 1971 Mar;69(1):99–103. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sharrar RG. National influenza experience in the USA, 1968-69. Bull World Health Organ. 1969;41(3):361–366. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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