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Posted Tue Jul 31 2012: from CNN:
Bird flu has jumped to baby seals, scientists discover
A new virus that jumped from birds to mammals is responsible for the death of more than 160 seals off the New England coast last year, scientists announced Tuesday. The virus could theoretically pose a threat to human health, they said.... "When initial tests revealed an avian influenza virus, we asked the obvious question: How did this virus jump from birds to seals?" lead researcher Simon Anthony of Columbia University said. The virus developed the ability to attack mammalian respiratory tracts, scientists learned. It may also have developed enhanced virulence and transmission in mammals, they said, but they need to do more tests to be sure.
[Read more stories about: weakened immunity, canary in coal mine]
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