"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world." -- Thomas Jefferson

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The number of house mice infected with H5N1 bird flu at a poultry farm in New Mexico has risen to nearly 50, federal officials disclosed on Tuesday, just a week after bird flu was found in rodents for the first time.

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Katherine Watt has been corresponding with a reader who is researching the history of US public health and regulatory agencies.  Records before 1973 are difficult to locate.  However, what has become clear is that the origins of