Bird Flu a Killer Pandemic?

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HONG KONG: First it was mad cow disease; now its a deadly flu virus contracted from poultry. The death of three people in Hong Kong from the H5N1 virus may be a further sign that our eating habits are biting back at us, but authorities fear that the virus caught from handling live chickens may spark a killer global pandemic.

Thus far, doctors believe that all H5N1 patients contracted the virus from direct contact with poultry. However, the major fear that has scientists anxiously poring over petri dishes is that the virus might have mutated into form that can be transmitted from human to human, creating a pandemic that could kill millions of people. Results of U.S. Centers for Disease Control tests on H5N1 samples are expected later this week.