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Bird Flu Virus May Infect One Third of World’s Population — Russian Expert

Mos News | March 8 2006

One-third of the world’s population might become infected with bird flu in a short period of time, Director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Virology Research Institute Dmitry Lvov said, according to Interfax.

“Any pandemic (flu) virus appears as a result of crossing between a human virus and a bird virus. A highly pathogenic monster emerges and it can affect up to one-third of the world’s population in a short period of time,” he said.

The flu is a very serious infection, which has existed among birds for millions of years,“ he said. ”In 1918, the Spanish influenza killed about 50 million people all over the world.“

The history of fighting a pandemic shows that ”quarantine measures are unable to hold in check the circulation of the virus,“ he said.

”Even a vaccine is a means of individual protection. A good vaccine can save a person not from the disease itself but from death and complications,“ he said.

Experts all over the world fear that H5N1 virus, which has killed more than 90 people since 2003, mostly in Asia, may mutate into a form that can pass between humans, sparking a deadly epidemic. A four-year-old boy who died in Indonesia last week, became the latest suspected bird flu victim.

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