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Another strike against an avian flu pandemic

By Michael Fumento

Worries that avian flu would combine with human flu to become a pandemic human strain have been knocked down more than a notch by the failure of scientists to succeed in doing so intentionally, much less through the happenstance that occurs in the wild. According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientists made two hybrid viruses and infected ferrets with them. No uninfected ferrets caught the disease. Moreover, the hybrids "were also not as able to cause severe disease as the original H5N1 virus," according to one of the researchers, Jackie Katz. The most important lesson, she said, is "the knowledge that this process isn't simple, the procedure for the virus to acquire the properties of transmissibility."

As you might guess, CDC Director and avian flu alarmist Julie Geberding was miffed. So we're not all going to die after all. Can't win 'em all, Julie!

August 1, 2006 05:28 PM  ·  Diseases (other than AIDS and cancer)