Web Zap*Germs Archive

August 17, 2004

Avian Influenza Virus Vaccine Under Development

Though restricted so far to Asian poultry farms (where they've killed more than 100 million birds and 27 people this year), avian influenza (bird flu) viruses have the potential, say authorities, "to trigger a modern-day pandemic" like the 1918 flu disaster that killed an estimated 40 million people. To guard against the possibility that one of these bird flu strains might jump to humans, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded a contract to Chiron Vaccines to develop a trial vaccine that would protect humans from infection.


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