Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bird Flu News

Here is an interesting update on avian influenza research:

Scientists failed in multiple attempts to make a more contagious form of the H5N1 bird flu, suggesting the virus may have to undergo massive change to cause a human pandemic.

After genes from human and bird influenzas were mixed to mimic a natural process that could lead to a pandemic, the virus remained hard to spread, said researchers led by Taronna Maines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study was conducted on ferrets, which flu affects much as it does people.

The same article reports that a vaccine is being testing for the H5N1 strain from Indonesia.