Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"World has slim chance to stop bird flu pandemic"

Read the full Reuters AlertNet article:

"The initial outbreak of a bird flu pandemic may not be very contagious, affecting only a few people, giving the world just weeks to contain the deadly virus before it spreads and kills millions.

"But the chance of containment is limited as the pandemic may not be detected until it has already spread to several countries, like the SARS virus in 2003, and avian flu vaccines developed in advance will have little impact on the pandemic virus.

"It will take scientists four to six months to develop a vaccine that protects against the pandemic virus, by which time thousands could have died. There is little likelihood a vaccine will even reach the country where the pandemic starts.

"That is the scenario outlined on Tuesday by Dr Hitoshi Oshitani, the man who was on the frontline in the battle against SARS and now leads the fight against avian flu in Asia."

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