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Bird Flu Spread Among Humans Would Be Deadly

Human Cases Mount, but Still No Giant Leap to Mankind

Why Experts Worry About Bird Flu continued...

"I would say at this point this needs to be at the top of our priority list," Koplan said at the end of the meeting. "This is something that will occur, and when it does it will be devastating. The public will say, 'Why didn't you do something about it?' only after it occurs. This is a major health problem. This needs to be placed at the forefront of activity now. If we wait until after the fact, we will pay a price for it."

One thing that is being done: A frantic search for a bird flu vaccine. As part of a World Health Organization effort, the CDC is working overtime to develop safe vaccine strains of H5, H7, and H9 bird flu viruses. However, it will be many months -- at the very least -- before these potential vaccines are ready for human tests.

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