Spain prepares itself for threatened bird flu

7th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 October 2005, MADRID — Spain is preparing for the threatened arrival of bird flu by building a factory to make vaccines against the virus – but it will not be complete until 2010.

7 October 2005

MADRID — Spain is preparing for the threatened arrival of bird flu by building a factory to make vaccines against the virus – but it will not be complete until 2010.

The latest outbreak of avian flu has killed 60 people in Southeast Asia.

Spain has bought two million doses of the antiviral medicine - enough to treat four percent of the population.

Manual Oñorbe, director general of public health in Spain, said: "I seriously doubt that the avian virus will mutate this winter and become an epidemic for humans.

"With this amount of vaccine, we have enough to treat those most at risk of infection."

Researchers at he US centres for Disease Control and Protection in Atlanta have recreated the 'Spanish flu' which caused the death of between 20-50 million in 1918.

Some but not all of the mutations in the 1918 virus were also present in today's version, said researchers.

The main difference is the present version passes from human to human with great difficulty, while the 1918 version – also called Spanish Lady – spread very quickly.

The work on the virus may help scientists to prevent a pandemic by looking at what genetic changes could allow the virus to be passed on.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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