The U.S. government, in recognition of the possible threat presented by H7N9 bird flu, has authorized the emergency use of unapproved diagnostic kits that can detect flu genes using a polymerase chain reaction test. The move is intended to hasten the delivery of antiviral drugs and limit the transmission of the virus while vaccines are developed. The next emergency authorization may be for adjuvants, immune-stimulating chemicals that would be put in vaccines.

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