Just at the moment news coverage of mad cow disease vanished from major newspapers' front pages, avian influenza A virus is on the wing. That disease arose to become the phobia de jour, prompting authorities to issue grave warnings that all but predict a temporary collapse of society. Here are a few examples. Speaking at a conference in Cheyenne, Wyo., several days ago, the nation's secretary of health and human services, Mike Leavitt, counseled the populace to prepare for the scourge by ...

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