MSU professor continues fight against avian flu

Posted on 04/28/2015 Archive: General

Influenza remains among the deadliest diseases known to living organisms on Earth.

Every year, the flu kills thousands of people. But in recent years, the type that scares the public the most has been avian flu strains, such as the H5N1 threat that spread from Asia to Europe and Africa in the early 2000s and has affected 650 humans in 15 countries since 2003.

Now, a new strain of avian flu, H5N2, is moving through poultry farms across the upper plains and Midwest regions of the U.S. and Canada.

Dr. Henry Wan, a systems biology professor at Mississippi State University, is among the world's preeminent authorities on avian flu. He said it is important we not overreact with fear.

Wan was the first researcher to recognize and document the avian flu. He was a 23-year-old master's student in his native China when he identified influenza in geese in 1996. It was the original discovery of the H5N1 virus. Read more