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Directions in Science | Open Access
Structure of Influenza A Virus Promoter and its Implications for Viral RNA Synthesis
Since the worst worldwide pandemic ever recorded — the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak that killed more than 20 million people — we have achieved significant advances in understanding the influenza virus. However, the fear of such a pandemic remains strong. For example, in 1997, when a lethal influenza variant afflicted eight people in Hong Kong, contributing to the death of six, officials feared the next wave had begun. They managed to solve the problem quickly, however, by destroying all of the poultry in Hong Kong.