Tuesday’s post about rubella’s North American extinction caught the attention of a reader at the National Institutes of Health. Sarah Miers sent me a press release detailing some of NIH’s work against the avian flu:

Fast-track recruitment has begun for a trial to investigate the safety of a vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today.

Sites in Rochester, NY, Baltimore and Los Angeles will enroll a total of 450 healthy adults. The clinical sites are part of the NIAID-sponsored Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEU).

“While there have been relatively few cases worldwide of H5N1 avian influenza infection in humans, the public health community is concerned that the virus will develop the capability of efficiently spreading from human to human and thus create a risk for a worldwide pandemic,” says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

Good to know.