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Bird Flu Might Make Comeback

Last updated on Thursday, September 1, 2011

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The U.N. Health Commission is warning that bird flu might be making a comeback with a new strain.

Dr. Robert Lubitz, Coordinator of Emergency Preparedness at St. Vincent Hospital, says the strain of bird flu is still just a bird disease and not a human one. He says they're concerned it could become a human disease but right now, it isn't. Dr. Lubitz says that they still take every warning from the U.N. Health Commission seriously.

Dr. Lubitz says they would tell other hospitals and health care providers what to do to prevent the spread of infection. He says the county health departments would also conduct biosurveillance to help monitor new cases coming into emergency rooms.

The U.N. Says this new strain of bird flu may not be affected by current vaccines. Dr. Lubitz says if a vaccine or medication doesn't seem to work, that acts as a tip that the virus may have mutated but the mutation has to be confirmed by laboratory testing.

Dr. Lubitz stresses that humans get bird flu after close contact with infected birds but right now, the H5N1 strain of bird flu is still just a bird disease.

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