UW-Madison Scientist Solves Bird Flu Puzzler

Posted on March 23, 2006  Comments (0)

UW-Madison scientist solves bird flu puzzler by David Wahlberg:

Before the H5N1 virus can cause a human pandemic, the new findings suggest, it must mutate and become able to recognize human flu virus receptors, Kawaoka said.

The virus, which has led to the death or slaughter of millions of birds in Asia, Africa and Europe, has killed 103 of the 184 people known to be infected since 2003, nearly all of them thought to be sickened by birds.

If the virus starts spreading from person to person, health officials say, it could cause a pandemic like the one in 1918 that killed up to 50 million people worldwide.

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