Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Scientists Scramble to Destroy Flu Strain

London - Thousands of scientists were scrambling Tuesday at the urging of global health authorities to destroy vials of a pandemic flu strain sent to labs in 18 countries as part of routine testing.

The rush, urged by the World Health Organization, was sparked by a slim, but real, risk that the samples, could spark a global flu epidemic. The vials of virus sent by a U.S. company went to nearly 5,000 labs, mostly in the United States, officials said.

It was not immediately clear why the 1957 pandemic strain, which killed between 1 million and 4 million people - was in the proficiency test kits routinely sent to labs. It was a decision that Stohr described as "unwise," and "unfortunate." You think - It was unwise? No kidding...

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