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New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is rising

First the good news: bird flu is becoming less deadly. Now the bad: scientists fear that this is the very thing that could make the virus more able to cause a pandemic that would kill hundreds of millions of people.
This paradox – emerging from Egypt, the most recent epicentre of the disease – threatens to increase the disease's ability to spread from person to person by helping it achieve the crucial mutation in the virus which could turn it into the greatest plague to hit Britain since the Black Death. Last year the Government identified the bird-flu virus, codenamed H5N1, as the biggest threat facing the country – with the potential to kill up to 750,000 Britons.

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