Saturday, May 20, 2006

Flu survivor, 92, gives blood for research (bird flu related)

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A 92-year-old woman who survived the Spanish flu in 1918 has given 10 vials of her blood to researchers working on bird-flu vaccines.

Dorothy Horsch was in kindergarten when she got the flu, which killed 20 million to 40 million people worldwide.

“My mother and father and sister and I, all four of us had it, and all four of us survived,” she said Friday.

Horsch’s blood will be part of a catalog of blood and bone marrow samples being compiled by Sea Lane Biotechnologies of Menlo Park, Calif.

“We’re looking at the different human responses to the various flus over the course of history,” said Michael Horowitz, general counsel for the company.

The goal is to obtain samples of antibodies produced by the survivors that allowed them to fight off the infection and then zero in on the most effective ones, Horowitz said.


Posted by john T. on 05/20 at 07:59 AM
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