Newswise — Is a bird flu pandemic "inevitable," as so many health experts believe? Is there a way to protect yourself and your family from this deadly virus? A new report from Harvard Medical School answers these and other urgent questions. This in-depth report goes behind the alarming headlines to provide the most accurate information based on the latest scientific research and practical advice of Harvard doctors.

Bird Flu: How to understand your risk and protect your health was prepared by Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Health Publications and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Raphael Dolin, M.D., an influenza specialist and the Dean for Academic and Clinical Programs and Maxwell Finland Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The 44-page report is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $16. It is available online only, as a downloadable PDF at

The report will be regularly updated at least four times a year, or sooner if major new information becomes available. So whenever someone purchases the report, it will contain the very latest information. People who have previously purchased the report will be sent announcements when the report is revised and updated, and will be able to purchase the updated report for a nominal fee ($5).

Bird Flu: How to understand your risk and protect your health answers such questions as these: "¢ What is bird flu, and what is a pandemic?"¢ Will the H5N1 virus develop the ability to easily infect people? "¢ What are the symptoms of bird flu? "¢ How is bird flu diagnosed? "¢ How serious and contagious will a new bird flu pandemic be? "¢ What has happened in past pandemics? "¢ What can be done to control bird flu? "¢ Is a vaccine available? "¢ How is bird flu treated? "¢ Do I need a supply of Tamiflu? "¢ What can I do to protect myself and my family—before and after there is a known bird flu pandemic? "¢ What should I expect if a pandemic strikes?