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Two more human cases of bird flu over the weekend, one in Indonesia, one in Thailand.  (From’s Avian Flu News Tracker, subscription required.)

The steady spread of the virus among flocks, and the cases of human sickness and fatality continue to accumulate, but the war news is obscuring the story.  The good news is that research into potential vaccines has accelerated, but on July 31, the news tracker noted:

A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that it might be more difficult for the current deadly avian-flu virus to spark a pandemic than originally feared. In the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, CDC scientists concluded that one of two main paths the H5N1 virus could take to adapt itself to humans — mixing genes with a common human-flu virus — isn’t likely easily to form a lethal superbug that jumps from one human to another.



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