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Science in Brief

Ordinary flu shots help fight bird flu

December 29, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ordinary seasonal flu vaccines may provide a small amount of protection against bird flu, Italian researchers reported this week in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Their study is among the first to support the idea that getting an annual flu shot may help people's bodies fight off the H5N1 virus, which has killed 210 people in 13 countries and infected 341.

Researchers in Rome tested the blood of 42 volunteers who had been vaccinated against seasonal influenza. In some of the patients, antibodies and CD4 T-cells attacked the virus.

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