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Avian Flu is the latest in a series of emerging infections which seem to be "flying" toward us with increasing regularity. On the heels of HIV, SARS, and West Nile fever, "bird" flu threatens outbreaks of pandemic proportion, depending on whether the virus becomes more adept at spreading from person-to-person. So far, the most serious species, H5N1 has had limited spread in this mode, and has not continued beyond one person. Where it has struck, however, it has caused fatalities in more than half of those infected. It would be really good if we came up with a vaccine for this kamikaze - hummingbird quick !
Original images courtesy of Cynthia Goldsmith, Jacqueline Katz and Sherif R. Zakei, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
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