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Flu pandemics: predicting the unpredictable

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Have we been proved wrong over the flu pandemic? For many years attention was focused on the H5N1 virus, which causes avian flu, as the one most likely to mutate to cause a pandemic. Media reports highlighted the clusters of human H5N1 infections in countries like Vietnam and Thailand, suggesting that this potentially fatal virus might be developing the ability to spread quickly among people.

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