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Scientists react to US flu plan

Critics say there are many holes left to fill; U.S. government defends proposal

Melissa Lee Phillips(mlp@nasw.org)

Scientists from across the country are weighing in on the US avian flu plan, including the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which released a detailed critique outlining potential problems in case of a pandemic less than a week after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its 400-page, $7.1 billion plan.

While "the government's efforts so far are an important and serious beginning" to addressing the potential pandemic, the HHS plan "does not convey yet with nearly enough clarity how we're going to resolve the most critical issues," according to Thomas Inglesby, COO and director of the Center for Biosecurity at UPMC.

Other scientists agreed that some details of the plan need a closer look. The plan deserves support, but "it needs fine-tuning," Arnold Monto, professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann...

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