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The human nose too cold for bird flu virus

15th May 2009

UK researchers say that bird flu may not become a major threat to humans because our noses are too cold for the virus to thrive.

The team from Imperial College London recreated the nose's environment and found that at 32 degrees Celsius, avian flu viruses lose function and cannot spread. It is likely that the viruses have adapted to suit the warmer 40 degree environments in the guts of birds. Publishing their findings in the journal PLoS Pathogens, they said a mutation would be needed before bird flu became a human problem.

 

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