Move over bird flu, bat flu is next

Associated Press
In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, ducks walk around an area where a suspected outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus was reported, in Nhat Tan commune, Kim Bang district, Ha Nam province, Vietnam. Recent human deaths in Asia and Egypt are a reminder that the deadly H5N1 virus is still alive and dangerous. Vietnam is also grappling with a new strain that has outsmarted vaccines long used to help protect its poultry flocks. The H5N1 virus has killed 345 people worldwide since 2003, when it rampaged across large swaths of Asia decimating poultry stocks before later surfacing in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Europe. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)

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If a bird flu outbreak in Indonesia weren't enough, scientists have now found a new influenza virus that infects bats. The new virus belongs to a family of flu viruses called Influenza A. Birds are natural hosts for these viruses, but they are found in other animals, too, including pigs, horses, seals and whales. So far, there is no evidence the newly discovered virus is causing illness among the bats.

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