Emory University
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Testing vaccines for pandemic flu

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Researchers at Emory and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will be testing a vaccine for H7N9 flu, the strain that sickened 135 people in China last spring and killed 44, or 32%. The NIH is sponsoring the clinical trial through the Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) and seven other VTEUs around the country.

Most of those stricken with the new avian flu strain last spring had had contact with poultry. While their median age was 58, four cases were confirmed in children. "This trial is important because humans have not developed any immunity to this newly identified virus," says infectious disease specialist Mark Mulligan. H7N9 has not spread easily between people and has not yet been detected in the U.S., but there is concern about its potential to create a global pandemic.

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