A new report from researchers at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands suggests that a bird flu pandemic may be closer than previously thought. The report appeared Thursday in the journal "Science" and details how research created their own strain of bird fly and observed it spreading wildly between organisms.
For the study lead researcher Ron Fouchier and his team recreated the deadly H5N1 virus that reached pandemic levels in 1918, 1957 and 1968. Derek Smith, a biologist at Erasmus Medical Center, says that at this time it's hard to predict how likely a pandemic would be:
"It's like being in a situation where we would like to predict earthquakes or tsunamis," Smith tells Time. "We now know that we are living on a fault line, and what we discovered is that it's an active fault line."
by RTT Staff Writer
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