Taiwan health officials have confirmed that a 20-year-old woman contracted H6N1, a new avian influenza virus similar to viruses present in the country's poultry since 1972. Scientific analysis of the strain showed a mutation in the code for a binding protein endowed it with the ability to infect human cells. The woman recovered after antiviral treatment. Although there is no evidence the pathogen can be transmitted between humans, the case "underscores that there are so many viruses out there and we just don't really know which pose the greatest threats to us," said virologist Wendy Barclay, who called for continued vigilance.
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