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August 23, 2005

Nation on watch for flu pandemic

The story in the Detroit News, Nation on watch for flu pandemic, is mostly a rehash of basic flu facts, but it does have one surprising fact in the last paragraph:

While there have been no reports of the virus being transmitted between people, British researchers reported finding the H5N1 virus in the spinal fluid of a young Vietnamese boy, indicating that the virus is mutating to the point that it can infect the human brain.

That was news to me, and I'd love to see the source.

Apart from that item, the story portrays "expert" anxiety and activity—as it should. It's all part of the public-information process. But I hope the focus on "experts" doesn't make the public relax. If people think "They're doing something about it," then individuals, groups, and institutions may think they don't have to do anything at all.

Posted by dymaxion at August 23, 2005 01:49 PM

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