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Home » News & Events » 05-08-05

Avian Flu Catastrophe May Loom

Houston Chronicle (Internet / Print) May 8, 2005

A disaster brews in Asia as avian influenza threatens an explosion of human disease more deadly than anthrax or smallpox. And the health community is urging closer attention to the virus' "catastrophic potential." "Mother Nature is the mother of all terrorists," said Dr. Stanley Lemon, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Given the magnitude of the threat, many people believe we haven't gone far enough." Lemon, director of UTMB's Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, is one of number of infectious-disease experts across the country urging closer attention to the looming crisis. The disease has killed 200 million birds and at least 52 people since January 2004. In humans, the fatality rate is 58 percent — putting it on a par with severe cholera or some of the milder Ebola outbreaks reported in Africa.

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