In the News

Risk of Avian Influenza for People

Reuters (London, Feb. 23) – A new strain of bird flu is infecting and killing a variety of mammals and raising fears of a pandemic more lethal than COVID-19. However, the virus prefers to bind to avian-type receptors, which are scarce in humans and located deep in the lungs. “We know that avian viruses can occasionally affect people, but it takes what appears to be lots and lots of contact with birds,” says James Lowe, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine at the U. of I.