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The World in Medicine
June 15, 2005

Avian Flu Concerns

JAMA. 2005;293(23):2850. doi:10.1001/jama.293.23.2850-b

Changing patterns of cases of avian (H5N1) influenza in northern Vietnam this year suggest the virus is mutating in ways that may render it more infectious for humans and perhaps more likely to spread from person to person, according to a new report from the WHO (http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/).

The epidemiological observations and sequencing analyses of genes from avian and human H5N1 viruses “demonstrate that the viruses are continuing to evolve and pose a continuing and potentially growing pandemic threat,” the report notes.

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