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August 08, 2005

Avian Flu Vaccine Experimentally EffectivePowerpundit

A new vaccine has been experimentally effective in producing a strong immune system reaction to the avian flu in humans: Two doses of the vaccine produced an immune system response potent enough to neutralize the virus in tests on 113 volunteers who were injected as part of a federally sponsored study being conducted at three U.S. universities. "This is very good news," said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "This is the first vaccine that anybody has that has been tested to show that you can actually produce a robust immune response." Public health authorities are alarmed by a strain of flu virus known as H5N1, which has been spreading primarily in birds across Asia and in Russia. It also has infected more than 100 humans in the past 18 months, killing about half of them. If the virus starts to spread efficiently among humans, experts fear it could trigger a global pandemic that could kill millions. In response, millions of birds throughout Asia have been slaughtered to try to stem the spread of the virus, governments and the World Health Organization have been stockpiling antiviral drugs, and scientists have been scrambling to produce an effective vaccine. Much more testing will be needed to determine exactly how the vaccine could be used, and other hurdles remain, including being able to produce and distribute large quantities of vaccine in the event of a pandemic, Fauci said. But he said the results represent a crucial milestone. Very good news, indeed! *** Related: Terrorism And Avian Flu Strategy Lacking For Spreading Avian Flu Avian Flu Is Spreading Are We Ready For The Avian Flu? Flu Pandemic WHO Warns Of Avian Flu Pandemic...

Posted by dymaxion at August 8, 2005 12:32 PM

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