Oct 27, 2005 — Global health officials are tracking the spread of avian flu in birds. They worry that a deadly strain of influenza could mutate and begin to spread aggressively among humans. There have already been dozens of cases where the disease made the leap from birds to people and in extremely rare instances the avian flu appears to have passed between humans. More than a hundred and twenty people have been infected so far, most of them in Asia. Nearly half died. This morning in the first part of our series on the local response to avian flu, we talk with Dr. Suzi Swain. Dr. Swain heads the Trudeau Institute, in Saranac Lake, one of the premier research facilities in the country investigating infectious and respiratory diseases. She's been meeting with local healthcare providers, who are preparing a response plan for the Tri-lakes area. Dr. Swain spoke with Brian Mann.
Note: Tomorrow during the 8 O'clock Hour, Brian reports looks at how one North Country community might respond if a flu pandemic occurs.