URMC Researchers looking to prevent flu pandemic

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are working to prevent a flu pandemic. Because of the speed of international travel today, experts believe a strain like H7N9, or the Bird Flu, could spread quicker and be worse than the “Spanish” flu pandemic of 1918. That killed 50 to 100 million people worldwide.

“If we have another pandemic like that, we'll see hundreds of millions of people infected with it worldwide,” said Dr. Angela Branche, Flu Vaccine Expert and Researcher at URMC.

Preventing that kind of worldwide outbreak is the focus of URMC’s current study into a vaccine for the Bird Flu that is proving to be dangerous in China.

“It's actually causing very severe disease, with a lot of repertory failure, people ending up in the ICU on ventilators. It has a case of fatality by about 27 percent, so that's really high,” said Dr. Branche.

URMC researchers are looking for people to participate and help with the study of the vaccine. Specifically, researchers are looking for healthy men and non-pregnant women, ages 18-49.

For more information, call 585-273-3990.

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