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Tick. Tick. Tick.

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From the WSJ.com’s Avia Flu News Tracker:

3:35 p.m.: Analysis of H5N1 virus samples from two victims in Turkey has detected a change in one gene in one of two samples tested, but it is too early to tell whether the mutation is important, the WHO said. The mutation, which allows the virus to bind to a human cell more easily than to a bird cell, is a shift in the direction of the virus being able to infect people more easily than it does now. However, that does not mean the mutation has taken root. We assume this could be one small step in the virus’s attempt to adapt to humans,” said WHO virologist Mike Perdue. “But it’s only seen in one isolate and it’s difficult to make sweeping conclusions. We just have to wait and see what the rest of the viruses (from Turkey) look like.”

My exam this semester posed a hypothetical that required students to consider the limits of presidential authority if H5N1 appears in this country after it had mutated into a virus easily transmitted from human to human.

Now that would have been an interesting set of questions for Judge Alito.

Instead we know a lot about CAP.

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