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Concern About Bird Flu But Indifference to Using Avian Cell Cultures To Create Vaccines, Including Flu Vaccine

Daily News Navigator

 02/05/04 (originally published at

Every year at flu season time, the alarm bells are sounded over the possibility of a flu pandemic.  This year the hysteria has been twice-told   The first bout of flu hysteria, only weeks ago, was over what it turns out may have been an ordinary flu season.  And now we are hearing chilling talk of bird flu in Asia and a possible pandemic.

For an extensive sampling of recent articles flu, click Flu, a zoonosis , is a disease that can spread from animals to humans, and in the case of influenza, is thought to be caused by birds .  An influenza pandemic is defined as a new, particularly virulent, bird flu which spreads to humans and causes considerable morbidity and mortality (i.e., disease and death).

While there may well be reason to be concerned about this recent outbreak of bird flu, one wonders why public health officials are not concerned about using avian cell cultures to create some vaccines, including flu vaccine.

Sandy Gottstein

Date: 2-5-2004              

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), paraphrasing John Philpot Curran (1808)