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most people do not know that Pittsburgh is MAJOR research center


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― Last Friday, an e-mail containing the gene sequence from the Swine Influenza outbreak arrived at the Rangos Research Center in Lawrenceville.

It was not the virus itself - but its genetic blueprint. Using DNA, researcher Dr. Andrea Gambotto and his team are now trying to develop an effective vaccine that can be produced quickly.

But this work is for possible future outbreaks, says Dr. Gambotto.


Edited by brian

indigo girl

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I was not aware of that. Are you from Pittsburg, oramar?

I found this interesting.

Dr. Sam Stebbins is part of the Swine Flu Task Force at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.

"There's a fine line between overreacting and under reacting. It's clear that this is a pandemic," Stebbins said.

Dr. Stebbins is preparing for the influenza to spread to Western Pennsylvania, which he believes is likely.

A computer model has been created for Allegheny County to help answer the "what-ifs."

So, what if a single case of Swine Flu surfaces in a second grader here?

"We can actually run the model and see what happens - how quickly it spreads throughout the community," Dr. Stebbins said.

Then interventions can be planned. They have also learned that, aside from survivors, no one in the world has immunity to this new viral strain.

"The flu vaccine probably doesn't provide much, if any, protection against it. So those are two things that make this very likely to spread which is exactly what it's doing," he said.

Dr. Stebbins says that containing any infection relies primarily on washing your hands frequently, covering your cough and staying at home if you become ill.

He also believes that wearing a surgical mask will help, especially for kids who tend to put their hands in their mouths.

And, according to Dr. Stebbins, the World Health Organization, so far, has decided not to change the make-up of next year's seasonal flu vaccine - but a Swine flu component might be added to the flu shot depending on the size of the pandemic.

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