31 Dec '11, 4am

WHO "deeply concerned" by mutant bird flu

WHO "deeply concerned" by mutant bird flu

PARIS: The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was "deeply concerned" about research into whether the H5N1 flu virus could be made more transmissible between humans after mutant strains were produced in labs. Two separate research teams -- one in the Netherlands and the other in the United States -- separately found ways to alter the H5N1 avian influenza so it could pass easily between mammals. Two top scientific journals said Tuesday they were mulling whether to publish full details on how Dutch scientists mutated the H5N1 flu virus in order for it to pass from one mammal to another. Scientists fear H5N1 will mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans, with the potential to cause millions of deaths. "The WHO takes note that studies undertaken by several institutions on whether changes in the H5N1 influenza virus can make it more transmissible between huma...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/117...

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