Kimchi Cures Bird Flu?

The BBC reports Korean researchers think they may have discovered a cure for Avian Influenza: “Scientists at Seoul National University say they fed an extract of kimchi to 13 infected chickens – and a week later 11 of them had started recovering.” Cabbage against a killer disease? That makes even a Krautheimer like me wonder. Has anyone checked if that study was funded by the Korean Cabbage Council?

The report does not specify which strain of bird flu the chicken were infected with. But H5N2 can cause up to 90% mortality in chicken (WHO avian influenza factsheet) . The current H5N1 outbreak in Vietnam has so far killed 13 of the 24 infected humans. The high mortality rate, plus the incredible adaptability of these virii are the main reasons why the WHO (and everyone else) is so worried about an impending avian flu pandemic (see WHO factsheet) .

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