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How swabbing shorebirds could prevent a flu pandemic

Each year for the past three decades, researchers have gathered at a beach near Cape May, N.J., to collect feces and throat and cloacal swabs from migratory shorebirds to determine what strains of influenza are circulating in an effort to prevent a pandemic. Tracking avian influenza may yield discoveries of new strains for which scientists can develop a vaccine or treatment before the virus spreads widely among people.

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