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Start here for up-to-date info. I was not aware of the extent of mammalian transmission that had been seen, however, mutation is still needed for the virus to have easily transmissible properties. Viral gene mutation can occur very rapidly so this is a possibility.

Tamiflu and Relenza will likely not be very helpful in the event of an emerging pandemic as it must be taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms to gain significant benefit. The likelihood that most people would be able to access their doctor or healthcare system in this short a time to get a scrip filled is pretty low, not the least reason of which is influenza infections generally take 48-72 hours to induce illness severe enough to induce people to try and access a healthcare provider. On the other hand, pandemic-capable infectious diseases more often than not are either snuffed out by CDC/WHO or burn out in failed transmission.

Be watchful of developments but there is no reason for panic at this point. One thing to do now might be to contact your doc or other healthcare provider to see how you might quickly get hold of some Tamiflu if H5N1 appears in North America and seems to be infecting humans.

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