June 10, 2013 Is the world on the verge of a pandemic? There are three reasons to think so. Two flu viruses are active, and a virus that bears a resemblance to SARS has cropped up in the Middle East. Each has devastating potential, but many early warnings of past pandemics have failed to materialize.
June 6, 2013 A type of bird flu that appeared in China a few months ago has infected more than a hundred people. Some scientists are worried that this virus has the potential spread globally. But a look at the virus's genes suggests the pathogen doesn't have the typical features of pandemic.
May 28, 2013 Doctors in China concluded that early treatment of bird flu cases with Tamiflu could help patients even days after infection. But the doctors also found in two cases that the virus apparently became resistant to the antiviral drug.
May 23, 2013 The virus's ability to move between these mammals might not bode well for humans. So far, it appears that H7N9 doesn't pass easily between people, but it could mutate over time and pose more of a threat.
May 8, 2013 Those people who have contracted the H7N9 virus have become very sick. And unlike the older bird flu virus, this one shows some adaptation to mammals, making it a matter of concern. But it doesn't make chickens sick, posing unique difficulties in fighting this kind of flu.
May 7, 2013 With the new H7N9 virus spreading through China and H5N1 popping up every now and then in Southeast Asia, it's tough to keep track of all the flu viruses. Here's a quick guide to what those H's and N's mean, and why viruses with these letters cause the most concern.
April 19, 2013 An international team of disease detectives are in China to investigate an outbreak of a new strain of bird flu, H7N9. The biggest puzzle right now is where these infections are coming from, as testing poultry has turned up very few infected birds.
April 17, 2013 A new strain of bird flu has sickened 82 people and killed 18 in China. But many people who have caught the H7N9 flu say they hadn't been near poultry or other birds. So what's fueling the outbreak of the virus?
April 14, 2013 Health officials in China say they've confirmed 11 new bird flu diagnoses, bringing the number of H7N9 infections to 60, according to the official Xinhua news agency. The virus, which began in eastern China, has now sickened at least one person in Beijing, and two in the central province of Henan.
April 14, 2013 "The top priority is diagnosis — the capability to be able to pick up this virus, should it emerge outside of China," says virologist John McCauley. Flu researchers are getting started on creating a vaccine, but there are still many unknowns.
April 12, 2013 Infections with a new flu strain have increased, with three to five cases reported daily. The virus, carried by birds, doesn't appear to spread between people. Still, health officials in the U.S. are preparing to screen travelers and develop a vaccine.
February 22, 2013 In early 2012, experiments that made H5N1 bird flu more contagious caused an uproar. People feared that mutant viruses could escape the lab and kill people. To prevent a repeat, the government has unveiled a policy describing how scientists should study dangerous pathogens and toxins.
January 23, 2013 After researchers created versions of the bird flu virus that could spread more easily, critics began to worry that the work could spawn a pandemic if a virus escaped from the lab. After halting their work for more than a year, scientists now say the benefits outweigh the risks, and they are set to restart their experiments.