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March 20, 2006

US study defines two clear bird flu strains

Via Reuters: U.S. study defines two clear bird flu strains.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu in humans has evolved into two separate strains, U.S. researchers reported on Monday, which could complicate developing a vaccine and preventing a pandemic.

One strain, or clade, made people sick in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in 2003 and 2004 and a second, a cousin of the first, caused the disease in people in Indonesia in 2004.

Two clades may share the same ancestor but are distinct -- as are different clades, or strains, of the AIDS virus, the team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

"Back in 2003 we only had one genetically distinct population of H5N1 with the potential to cause a human pandemic. Now we have two," said the CDC's Rebecca Garten, who helped conduct the study.

Posted by dymaxion at March 20, 2006 03:07 PM

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