Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Threat of World Flu Epidemic

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Threat of World Flu Epidemic

Article excerpt

Byline: REBECCA SMITH

A LETHAL strain of bird flu could become another global pandemic killing millions, scientists warned today.

Asian bird flu has so far killed 32 of the 44 people who have caught it - mostly as a result of direct contact with infected chickens.

But now scientists have found it has spread from person to person. There are fears that if the virus took hold within humans an epidemic could spread on a scale not seen since 1918, when 40 million people are thought to have died from a strain of flu that mutated from bird f lu.

Researchers warned the case of person-to-person transmission should "serve as a reminder of the urgent need to prepare for a future influenza pandemic".

A research paper published by the New England Journal of Medicine documents the case of an 11-year-old girl in Thailand who caught strain A avian flu from infected chickens. She died five days later at hospital. Her mother, who had no contact with chickens but who had nursed her daughter, fell ill and died the same month. …

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