Flu pandemic is here

24 July 2009

There are many unknowns - some scarier than others - around the now-pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) virus. Like how virulent is it going to be? And what if it recombines with the seasonal influenza H3N2 virus, or, even scarier, with the H5N1 'bird flu' virus? What is known is that the H1N1 flu is, for now and when compared to seasonal flu, mild, explained Prof Barry Schoub, executive director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, in his Darwin Seminar, hosted by UCT's Division of Human Genetics and the Africa Genome Education Institute at UCT on 23 July. But Schoub urged vigilance, given the influenza virus' ability to evolve mid-gallop.

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