KSJ Tracker Tag: H5N1

February 1, 2013

Tinkering with the H5N1 bird-fluvirus: The mysterious case of the dead ferrets.

In this week's edition of On Science BlogsTabitha M. Powledge pursues the notorious case of the dead ferrets, a mystery worthy of 221B Baker St. 

She begins with a nice roundup of blogs addressing the announced resumption this week of research on H5N1 bird-flu viruses engineered to be transmissible between mammals. Until now, humans appear to have contracted the virus only through contact with birds, especially poultry. But it can't be passed from one human to another. The new research was aimed at making the virus transmissible among ferrets, which respond to the virus the way humans do--or close to it, as I discussed in a post here earlier this week. The researchers doing the work agreed to a moratorium a year ago and unilaterally ended it this week.


January 29, 2013

Resumption of controversial H5N1 flu research: Has the press told us what we need to know?

This morning, Mom Kunthear and Justine Drennan of The Phnom Penh Post report that a new case of avian flu has been found in a two-year-old girl, the fourth case of the disease in Cambodia since Jan. 1. 

The World Health Organization reports that as of Jan. 16, 610 confirmed cases of H5N1 virus infections have been reported to WHO from 15 countries. Of those infected, 360 died.