The USDA announced this week that it’s launching a plan to stockpile a huge cache of vaccines against the avian flu which swept through bird populations this year. Sounds pretty reasonable! There’s only one problem: As of yet, there are no approved vaccines.
Since it was first discovered in late March of this year, the H7N9 virus has infected 60 people, killing 13. It’s not clear whether the virus can spread from person to person. But as the first round of tests on the virus has shown, it has some troublesome characteristics.
The death toll from a new flu strain in China has now reached six. It's not known if the virus can be transmitted from person to person, but based on what the experts are saying, it’s a development that needs to be taken very seriously.
It was around this time last year when two teams of scientists from the U.S. and the Netherlands submitted papers for publication in Science and Nature describing how the H5N1 virus could be converted into a human-contagious form. All that was required were a pair of crafty genetic manipulations — and voila — instant…
We already know that the deadly H5N1 avian flu is only one stabilizing mutation away from being able to spread to humans. But as society nervously anticipates a potential pandemic, we get disturbing news that a different variant of the flu, the equally ominous H3N8, has successfully made the leap from birds to seals.
One of the most important duties of a peer-reviewed research journal is to not only feature discoveries at the frontiers of science, but to provide other researchers with the information necessary to build upon said discoveries in a meaningful way. Now, the development of two highly virulent strains of H5N1 — the…
In 2009, swine flu created a minor pandemic, only killing about 15,000 people but infecting millions more. The avian flu H9N2 is ravaging bird populations throughout Asia. They're bad enough on their own...but what if they joined forces?
Researchers have discovered that animals with a good sense of smell, like dogs and mice, can be trained to detect animals infected with bird flu. Just by sniffing their excrement. Could this be a new early-warning detection system for pandemics?
The Sci Fi Channel brings us deadly contagious birds driven mad with a flu so nasty they want to kill. The sickly fowl set their beady eyes on a lost flock of teens stumbling through the woods. Now it's up to the kids to destroy these sniffles-afflicted birds before they reach the city and spread their germs, thus…