Virologist calls for closer scrutiny of Asian flocks

08/31/2011 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

An existing H5N1 vaccine for humans won't fully protect people from a new variant of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, making closer monitoring of the disease in poultry and wild birds an important part of efforts to stem the spread of the disease in humans, University of Hong Kong virologist Malik Peiris said Tuesday, one day after U.N. officials warned of a resurgence of the virus and the presence of a new strain that has resulted in eight deaths in Cambodia. "It doesn't necessarily indicate that this particular virus strain is more virulent to humans. But it is a threat because it has become more widespread globally," Peiris said.

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