Bird flu may not be so deadly after all, new analysis claims

Reuters, Feb. 23, 2012

Bird flu may be far less lethal to people than the World Health Organization’s assessment of a death rate topping 50 percent, scientists said on Thursday in a finding that adds fuel to the heated controversy over publication of bird flu research.

Scientists led by virologist Peter Palese of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York argue in an analysis published in the online edition of the journal Science that the WHO, a U.N. agency, is calculating the death rate using an estimate of human bird flu cases that is simply too low.

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