Pandemic Flu

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The head of the State Public Health Laboratory in Frankfort says samples of a deadly flu virus that were shipped to Kentucky labs have been destroyed.

Doctor Stephanie Mayfield, who is the director of the state's Division of Laboratory Services, says health officials have verified which labs in Kentucky received the deadly flu virus, known as H-2-N-2.

Mayfield says 64 Kentucky laboratories have received the virus as part of regular proficiency test kits. Mayfield says the samples have been destroyed, either through incineration or a sterilization process known as "autoclaving."

Almost five thousand labs throughout the world received the virus that killed between one million and four million people in 1957.

The virus has not been included in flu vaccines since 1968, so people born after that year have little or no immunity to it.

Yesterday, the College of American Pathologists announced 67 Kentucky laboratories received the virus. Mayfield, however, says that list includes some duplications.