American Council on Science and Health Dispatches Influenza Experts to Discuss Threat of Bird Flu

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October 19, 2005 -- New York, NY. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) today announces a speaking tour to discuss the threat of an H5N1 influenza outbreak and the status of American preparedness.

Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of ACSH, will begin this nationwide tour discussing the nature of a potential outbreak of avian influenza, the shortage of anti-viral medicines such as Tamiflu, and the lack of an effective vaccine.

"Americans should be aware of the risk of a mutated form of avian flu that is transmittable between humans," said Dr. Whelan. "While preparedness plans are being developed, America will remain vulnerable with its limited supply of Tamiflu, the only proven treatment in the absence of a vaccine. We must look for ways to increase our supply of this antiviral here in the United States."

ACSH will soon release a paper addressing these and other factors faced by the United States as it begins to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic influenza outbreak.