Preventing Bird Flu From Entering the United States

More dead from the deadly H7N9 strain as the CDC works to prevent an epidemic in the U.S.
1:53 | 04/12/13

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Transcript for Preventing Bird Flu From Entering the United States
And now, we want to take you inside the all-out american effort to stop a new kind of bird flu from coming to the united states. Our chief medical editor dr. Richard besser, a veteran of the cdc, has made his way to china to show us the wire wall that has to be built, and fast, to stop an outbreak from traveling to american shores. He is in hong kong tonight. Rich? Reporter: I'm on the trail of a virus with frightening potential. So far, this virus has not mu talted into the most deadly form. But health agencies around the globe, including the cdc, are working 24/7, just in case. That's because if contagion begins, hong kong is key. This is one of the most densely populated places on earth. One person comes into a diner like this with the flu and coughs, half the diner could get sick. The flu began among birds, and all over this country, there is a race to contain it. The number is rising -- 43 indekted, 11 of them dead. Most believed to have contact with infected birds. Officials monitoring more than 1,000 close contacts of those who are ill to see if they get sick, too. The urgency here because bird flus can change and it's possible the virus will start spreading from person to person. We're learning more about it. In people, it causes high grade fivers, leading to confusion. A cough turning to total respiratory failure, other systems begin to break down, the kidneys, muscles. Scientists believe this flu might not be treatable with the only weapons we have against flus, anti-viral medicine. And remember, we have no natural immunity to this new strain. I'll be visiting the isolation worlds for anyone showing signs of the flu. The cdc and other agencies want to do everything they can to contain this outbreak. This is one they're really worried about.

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