The search to find an effective vaccine in the battle against bird flu has taken a step forward.Human trials have been launched in Hungary.The country’s health minister was among the first to volunteer to test a sample of a new vaccine which has been developed by the World Health Organisation.
Around 100 volunteers, mainly lab technicians and health staff will be human guinea-pigs, if a bird flu pandemic developed they would be on the front line. Virologist, Dr Istvan Jankovics, is pleased that Hungrary is leading the way. His country is gearing up to produce up to half-a-million doses of vaccine a week should the need arise. Bird flu has killed 65 people in four Asian countries since 2003 and has been found in birds in Russia and Europe. But while a vaccine is being hurridly developed, containment of infected poultry is also a priority.To date, human victims of the flu have been infected from diseased birds and not from person to person contact.