Bird Flu Research to be Shared58 sec read
The World Health Organization announced on Friday that details of the recent genetic research that resulted in more contagious bird flu strains would be released to the general public over the next few months. The decision, made by leading bird flu and public health experts who met in Geneva last week, was against the objections of the United States. Opposition from US officials was based on the fear that releasing the information would do little to advance the cause of bird flu research, while giving ammunition to terrorists who could use it to promulgate a worldwide epidemic.
Indeed, although the bird flu in its current, genetically unaltered form does not spread easily from infected birds to humans, it remains one of the most deadly viruses on record. Almost one half of those who get the infection will die. The Geneva group cited free exchange of information as the reason for releasing the data, suggesting that holding such information back would set a dangerous precedent in the scientific community.