Friday, November 03, 2006

Genes May Determine Who Is Infected With Bird Flu Virus

One of the deciding factors in who does or does not contract the bird flu may lie in the persons genes. The trait makes some people more disposed to getting the deadly infection, partially explaining the previously believed random contraction. This factor has also helped the infection remain rare according to the World Health Organization.

The conclusion was formed based greatly upon the deaths of 7 extended family members in Indonesia. The relatives who shared many genescould have passed the virus to members outside of their family, but the virus only spread among the same family. The disease with over a 50% mortality rate is one of the pressing issues facing the world today. The infection is rarely transmitted to humans from animals nor is it passed from human to human readily except in rare circumstances.

No vaccine is available for the disease and none is seen to be coming in the near future. The chances of a pandemic developing remain possible and very little is known about the bird flu. Research will continue into the infection to determine more about it's cause, treatments, and mutations.

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