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Killer Bird Flu Fuels Plague Fears

New Worldwide Flu May Be Brewing in Asia

What's Happened This Year -- so Far continued...

"There are lots of other cases under investigation," the WHO's Cheng says. "We have a team on the ground in Vietnam, and our office in Hanoi and our regional office in Manila sent people yesterday. We are working very closely with the Vietnamese authorities."

Members of the WHO team are from the U.S. CDC, the CDC's Brammer confirms.

Shimshony says there have been unconfirmed reports that the H5 virus has been detected in pigs. That would be a concern, because pigs -- unlike birds -- can also carry human flu viruses.

"Going through pigs could make it become as lethal as bird flu is for poultry and as infectious as human flu is for people," Shimshony says. "This would be very worrisome. But this has not happened yet. There has been no reassortment of this virus, so this virus is strictly avian. Still, the longer it goes on with many people getting infected, the closer our fears are to becoming actual."


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