Friday, March 24, 2006

Humans a hostile host to bird flu

'Scientists have discovered why the H5N1 avian flu that is so lethal in birds has not spread easily among humans. Unlike flu viruses that are passed easily between people, H5N1 has a hard time attaching to cells in the nose, throat and upper airways. However, it readily attaches to cells deep in the lungs. This suggests that people need close and heavy exposure to the H5N1 virus for it to get into the lungs, where it can take hold. But once there, it causes extensive damage to the machinery of respiration - the cells and air spaces where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide...' More


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