(CIDRAP News) – The first of two controversial H5N1 avian influenza studies to see print suggests that just four mutations in one of the virus's surface proteins may be enough to equip it to spread among mammals, but the findings are freighted with qualifiers.
(CIDRAP News) – Two leading voices on the potential threat of lab-modified H5N1 viruses laid out their arguments about the human H5N1 fatality rate and undetected cases today and yesterday, with one group claiming "millions" likely have been infected and the other group saying current World Health Organization (WHO) fatality-rate estimates are about right.
(CIDRAP News) In the influenza literature, it's a given that ferrets are the best animal model for influenza in humans. They show similar clinical signs of disease, such as fever, coughing, and sneezing, and flu viruses that spread among humans usually spread in ferrets as well.
(CIDRAP News) – A national biosecurity board that monitors "dual use" research is apparently worried about an as-yet-published study in which a mutant form of H5N1 avian influenza virus was found to be easily transmissible in ferrets, which are considered good models for flu in humans.