Some of the nation's top public health officials told lawmakers Thursday that, so far, outbreaks have been reported in 33 countries and 94 of 174 people who have been infected have died. That 50% fatality rate is a big concern and the reason why one lawmaker said that the nation should be spending as much on bird flu prevention as national defense.
"We're aiming at 20-million doses of a pre-pandemic vaccine but to develop the capacity to be able to make 300-million doses within six months of when we ultimately get the latest version of it that is the real killer," said Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institutes of Health.
Aside from making progress on a vaccine, the government this week bought more doses of Relenza and more Tamiflu, almost tripling the government stockpile just in case the bird flu migrates to America.
Meanwhile, in Germany, officials have confirmed a case of the bird flu in a cat over there and that has pet owners in Europe worried.