Saturday, September 29, 2007

H5N1 Attacks Lungs, Womb And Brain

A story from the VoA details some of the latest discoveries about why the H5N1 virus is proving so deadly to humans. While the story says H5N1 in humans has a fatality rate of 60%, in Indonesia, Egypt and Vietnam it has proven much higher, reaching 87%.

From VoA :

...little has been known about exactly what H5N1 does to the human body, according to Ian Lipkin, professor of neurology and pathology at the Columbia University in New York.

Lipkin is senior collaborator on a paper by international researchers who studied the bodies of two individuals who had died of the avian flu. He says the avian flu affects primarily the lungs, causing a surprising amount of damage.

But in addition to the lungs, Lipkin says, investigators found H5N1 had spread to the gastrointestinal tract, and the infection was also discovered in the brain and in the reproductive tract.

Lipkin says it appears the severe and widespread damage to the body inflicted by the virus H5N1 may be caused by the body's immune system going into overdrive - a phenomenon that some call a "cytokine storm."

Go Here For The Full Story

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