Indonesian pigs sick with bird flu
Scientists worry this is the next step toward pandemic

JAKARTA, April 11, 2005: Indonesia has announced the H5N1 strain of bird flu has infected pigs. Pigs add an additional catalyst in the steady climb towards a world pandemic because pigs can host both human and poultry flu strains. This has led scientists to hypothesize that pigs could act as a mixing bowl allowing characteristics from the human strain to combine with the already highly contagious and deadly avian influenza that has been terrorizing Southeast Asia. While the potential may exist, such hybridization has never been proven. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests pigs might not be able to transmit H5N1 to one another.

For the complete story go to: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7268


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