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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bird Flu Researchers Push To Make Virus More Contagious

Flu vaccine production - Before incubation, the eggs are inoculated with the seed virus  Val de Reuil - France - March 2009. (Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr)

A worker at Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s larges influenza vaccine manufacturer. Some researchers in the United States have published letters in the journals Nature and Science arguing to create a more virulent strain of the H7N9 avian flu to prepare for its possible spread in humans.  (Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr)

In a letter published today in the nation’s two most prestigious scientific journals — Science and Nature — bird flu researchers say they need to perform research on the H7N9 virus that would make it more dangerous.

The researchers say that’s necessary in order to prepare for its possible spread between humans, perhaps as early as this winter.

The paper comes on the heels of a new study in the British Medical Journal that shows the first probable transmission between humans of the H7N9 virus.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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