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February 1, 2006

Medical Countermeasures for Pandemic Influenza: Ethics and the Law

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for Law and the Public's Health, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

JAMA. 2006;295(5):554-556. doi:10.1001/jama.295.5.554

Serious outbreaks of avian influenza A (H5N1) have occurred among birds in Asia, with cases now reported in Europe.1 Although H5N1 is highly contagious among birds, it is rare in humans due to a significant species barrier.2 As of January 7, 2006, 146 cases were reported with 76 deaths.3 Human-to-human transmission has occurred, but transmission to date has not continued beyond one person.