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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The complete coding sequence for the 1918
pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus has been recently identified
(Taubenberger et al., 2005, Nature, vol. 437, pp. 889-893). Scientists
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention together with
collaborators at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, Armed Forces
Institute of Pathology, MD, and Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, GA, reconstructed the 1918 pandemic
influenza virus by using reverse genetics to study the properties
associated with its extraordinary virulence (Tumpey et al.,
Characterization of the Reconstructed 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic
Virus, Science 2005 310: 77-80). With the publication of the complete
coding sequence, it will be possible for other scientists with
knowledge of reverse genetics technology to reconstruct the 1918
pandemic influenza virus at other institutions.
The pandemic influenza virus of 1918-19 killed up to 50 million
people worldwide, including an estimated 675,000 deaths in the United
States. The 1918 pandemic influenza virus' (H1N1) most striking feature
was the unusually high death rate among healthy adults aged 15 to 34
years. The question of whether the reconstructed 1918 pandemic
influenza virus should be regulated as a select agent was considered by
the Intragovernmental Select Agents and Toxins Technical Advisory
The case-by-case review by CDC's Division of Select Agents and
Toxins will continue until further data are available that may result
in changes to biosafety guidelines for work with the reconstructed 1918
pandemic influenza virus. Until such revised guidelines are available,
entities should refer to the ``Interim CDC-NIH Recommendation for
Raising the Biosafety Level for Laboratory Work Involving
Noncontemporary Human Influenza Viruses.'' In accordance with these
interim guidelines, work with such viruses should proceed with extreme
caution and the viruses should be handled, at a minimum, under high-
containment (Biosafety Level 3-enhanced) laboratory conditions.
Enhancements should include the use of powered air purifying
respirators, change-of-clothing and shower-out requirements, use of
HEPA filtration for treatment of exhaust air, and a stringent medical
surveillance and response plan. In addition to these currently
published interim guidelines, annual vaccination with the currently
licensed influenza vaccine is strongly recommended and antiviral
prophylaxis should be available for individuals working with
reconstructed replication competent forms of the 1918 pandemic
influenza virus containing any portion of the coding regions of all
eight gene segments.
Hell-bent on making money on a H5N1 vaccine and that is why it won't share the H1N1 virus with others,