Study Says U.S. Could Do Little to Stop Possible Pandemic Flu Spread - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

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Study Says U.S. Could Do Little to Stop Possible Pandemic Flu Spread

APRIL 26, 2006 - Posted at 4:22 p.m. CST

 

WASHINGTON - A new computer model suggests the government can't do much to stop the spread of flu if a pandemic reaches the U.S.

The computer-simulated conclusions, published in the journal Nature, suggest a widespread flu epidemic could hit one in three Americans if nothing is done.  If the government acted fast and had enough antiviral doses to go around, which it doesn't, the cases could fall to about one in four.

The lead author at London's Imperial College says both cases are "very pessimistic."  Neil Ferguson says closing schools and using Tamiflu prescriptions could reduce the toll, but efforts to stop flu at the U.S. borders will only delay its arrival by a matter of weeks.

The World Health Organization says H5N1 bird flu has infected 204 people and killed more than half of them.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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