Working to Avoid a Flu Pandemic

By  | 

Around the world, health officials are destroying vials of a killer flu virus from nearly 50 years ago.

The World Health Organization says most of the vials were sent to labs in the United States. Some also went to Canada and Mexico. And more than 60 laboratories outside North America received them.

The WHO's influenza chief calls the decision to send out the virus "unwise." He says a very similar virus caused a 1957 global flu pandemic that killed between 1and 4 million people.

The germ hasn't been included in flu vaccines since 1968 and anyone born after that date has little or no immunity to it.