Studies downplay avian flu threat

A pair of new studies suggests that the avian flu is unlikely to develop the ability to spread from human to human, a finding that could mean the risks of a pandemic are far lower than had been believed. The reports, published in Nature and Science, argue that the disease is unlikely to spread in its present from because it targets the deepest branches of the human respiratory tract. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a virologist at the University of Tokyo and the University of Wisconsin, who authored the Nature report, concludes that the disease is many mutations away from acquiring the ability to move easily between humans.

- read this article from The New York Times