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U.S. Government Releases New Plans for Pandemic Flu

The White House released an updated pandemic flu plan as fears continue that the bird flu virus that has infected birds in 48 countries and humans in nine arrives in the United States. A homeland security adviser outlines what the federal government is doing to prepare.

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    For years, government and health officials have been warning the U.S. needs a more comprehensive strategy to combat a global flu pandemic.

    The rise of a deadly strain of avian flu has heightened those fears. There's concern the virus might mutate into a form that could spread rapidly from human to human.

    The H5N1 strain was first detected in birds in 1996, and appeared in humans a year later, and reappeared in 2003. Since then, it's infected more than 200 people in nine countries and killed more than half.

    Most victims lived in Southeast Asia, and most had direct contact with infected poultry.

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