State health officials are carefully watching a situation developing in Asia. An outbreak of Avian Flu has killed or forced the culling of millions of chickens and ducks, and has spread to 44 humans, killing 32 of them. The state’s Emerging Infections Coordinator Eddie Hedrick says the virus is not spread directly from birds to people, but could mutate to a deadly form. Hedrick says whether this transfers to humans and becomes a deadly pandemic depends on how much the virus changes. Hedrick says state and federal health officials are trying to make preparations against an outbreak in humans but he admits it’s tough when they don’t know for sure if and when it could happen.
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