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Health workers killed chickens in a Hong Kong market in 2014 in an effort to stop the spread of H7N9 flu. It's being watched closely as a virus that might spark a pandemic outbreak. Vincent Yu/AP hide caption

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Vincent Yu/AP

NIH Lifts Ban On Research That Could Make Deadly Viruses Even Worse

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Australia had a particularly hard flu season this year, which may predict similar challenges for the U.S. Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP/Getty Images

In The U.S., Flu Season Could Be Unusually Harsh This Year

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A patient with the H7N9 avian flu is treated in a hospital in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province, in February of this year. The 2017 outbreak was the deadliest in China since H7N9 first appeared in humans in 2013. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Matt Twombly for NPR

Probiotic Bacteria Could Protect Newborns From Deadly Infection

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Kamni Vallabh helps her daughter Sonia get ready for her wedding, a few months before Kamni started showing symptoms of the prion disease that would kill her. Courtesy of Sonia Vallabh hide caption

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Courtesy of Sonia Vallabh

A Mother's Early Death Drives Her Daughter To Find A Treatment

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Nursing homes and hospitals need to work harder to keep water systems from being contaminated with bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease, the CDC says. Getty Images hide caption

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Katherine Streeter for NPR

Handshake-Free Zones Target Spread Of Germs In The Hospital

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A groundskeeper at Pinecrest Gardens sprays pesticide to kill mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County, Fla., in 2016. Gaston De Cardenas/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images hide caption

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Gaston De Cardenas/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images

Hospital-acquired infections are a big risk in health care, especially for older or seriously ill patients. Dana Neely/Getty Images hide caption

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Dana Neely/Getty Images

Dr. Thumbi Mwangi, an infectious disease epidemiologist from Kenya, at Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, on Nov. 29, 2016. In the U.S., Mwangi worked on a vaccine for cows that aimed to combat the same disease he saw the bovine battle in Kenya as a kid. Akash Ghai/for NPR hide caption

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Akash Ghai/for NPR