Flu Research Finds Harmful Immune Response
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
NPR's Richard Knox reports.
RICHARD KNOX: The most striking feature of the 1918 flu is that it killed healthy young adults in days. Flu expert Michael Katze of the University of Washington.
MICHAEL KATZE: People were bleeding from their mouth. Their lungs were completely destroyed. I mean it was an extremely quick and dramatic death, very unlike most influenza virus symptoms.
KNOX: In this week's edition of Nature, they describe what happened when they infected mice with the replica.
KATZE: What this paper shows us is that there is a very dramatic response in the lungs of infected mice. In my view, the fate of the mouse is sealed minutes, certainly hours, after infection.
KNOX: Katze says no single gene from the flu virus is responsible for this immune storm.
KATZE: These viral genes, or these viral proteins, are talking to each other. They're coordinating with each other.
KNOX: Richard Knox, NPR News.
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