Bird flu

CDC: Current Bird Flu Strain Can't Cause Pandemic

But mutation is always a fear

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The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the current strain of bird flu that is causing illness and deaths in China cannot spark a pandemic in its current form—but he added that there is no guarantee it will not mutate and cause a serious pandemic.

In an exclusive interview at the Reuters Health Summit in New York, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said more than 2,000 people have been in contact with infected individuals, and only a handful have become ill.

Virtually all of the rest have had direct contact with poultry, the identified cause of the virus.