The US government has told more than 3,700 laboratories in 18 countries to destroy potentially lethal influenza samples sent out in testing kits.They have also publicized the "full list of countries and areas where laboratories received the virus" between October 2004 and February 2005:
The samples are of "Asian flu", which killed between one and four million people in 1957 but disappeared by 1968.
If the virus is not handled properly, "it can easily cause an influenza epidemic", Klaus Stohr of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned....
"If this virus were to infect one person, it would spread very rapidly," Dr Stohr, the WHO's influenza expert, told the BBC.
Bermuda, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the US.Saudi Arabia?
Five of the 15 "planning scenarios" developed by the Homeland Security Council deal with biological threats.
One is a flu pandemic.