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Bird Flu Vaccine
« Thread started on: Jan 23rd, 2006, 3:13pm »
Reported January 25, 2006
Bird Flu Vaccine
CINCINNATI (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Some world health officials believe the clock is ticking closer and closer to a bird flu pandemic. If bird flu strikes the United States, will we be ready? Researchers are working to see if a new vaccine will buy us time.
It's flu season, but Marilyn Rotundo isn't getting a regular flu shot. Rotundo is one of 75 seniors taking part in a study of the avian -- or bird flu -- vaccine.
David Bernstein, M.D., director of infectious diseases at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, says in early trials, the vaccine produced an immune response in healthy adults. "Once we established that it was safe and did what we hoped it would do in normal healthy adults, then we move to our most vulnerable population, older adults and children," he tells Ivanhoe.
"It's a concern of everybody, family and workers," Rotundo says.
Most of the concern about the bird flu centers on a strain called H5N1. It's deadly, and we have no immunity to it. Recent outbreaks have occurred in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and china.
Dr. Bernstein says, "This is in case this bird flu comes to the states, we'll be ready."
After three shots, blood drawn from study participants will be checked for antibodies that can fight off the bird flu. Experts believe, so far, almost all human cases have come from direct contact with poultry.
Dr. Bernstein says when it acquires that ability to go from person to person to person, we have a big problem, but even if this virus spreads, we can still avoid it. "Common sense -- washing your hands, staying a good distance from people who are coughing and sneezing," he says.
Good advice for any flu season.
Patients in the study experience the normal soreness affiliated with a regular flu shot, but no other side effects have been reported so far. Three other centers are studying this vaccine.
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.
If you would like more information, please contact:
Cincinnati Children's Hospital
3333 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229
Article from Ivanhoe