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Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source:  Nature Magazine
Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source: Nature Magazine

Influenza a Global Risk: One Town Plans Ahead

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Avian flu has pushed its way to the forefront as a global health concern. Yesterday, the US Senate voted unanimously to boost funding for avian flu research and planning. The disease is still extremely rare. Less than a hundred people have died worldwide. But many scientists worry that the risk of a deadly influenza strain spreading among humans has been growing. While avian flu is a global health threat, experts say the burden of responding to an outbreak could fall most heavily on local governments, along with local doctors and nurses. In Saranac Lake, an informal group of scientists, county health officials, and hospital workers has begun meeting. As Brian Mann reports, they hope to develop a plan for avian flu response that could include quarantines and emergency shelters for sick patients.

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