In June of 2009, a committee met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to do a routine safety review of proposed research projects.
One of those projects involved genetically modifying flu viruses. And during the review, the committee brought up the idea of "dual-use" research. "Dual use" means legitimate scientific work that's intended to advance science or medicine, but that also might be misused with the intent to do harm.
Health officials say flu season is finally here – marking one the latest starts in nearly 25 years. Nationally, people typically begin showing symptoms in December or January. Flu activity has also been slow in Larimer County. But that’s expected to change.
A closed-door meeting to discuss controversial bird flu research is drawing to a close at the World Health Organization in Geneva, and the WHO plans to publicly report on what happened once it's officially over.
Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 3:46 am
Students at a University of London class in Mexico City wear masks to protect them against swine flu in May 2009. High schools and universities closed by the pandemic had just reopened across Mexico.
Credit Brennan Linsley / AP
Everyone knows that when your kids get the flu, they stay home from school.
But what does it take to justify closing the school down entirely? That's a question we should probably answer before the next big pandemic hits.
At one point during the swine flu outbreak in 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, "The potential benefits of preemptively dismissing students from school are often outweighed by negative consequences," such as disruption of classes and hassles for parents.