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  • Bird flu update: 14 August 2006


Below is a roundup of the key developments on the spread of the bird flu virus (H5N1) and the threat it poses to human health. Each title is a link to the full article.

Click here to see the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures of confirmed human cases.

Sunday 13 August 2006

H5N1 suspected in Rotterdam zoo
Two young owls that died in a zoo in Rotterdam are suspected of having the H5N1 bird flu virus, the Dutch farm ministry said on Saturday; if confirmed, this would be the Netherlands' first case of H5N1 (Source: Reuters).

46 suspected human bird flu cases in Thailand
Forty-six more people have been put under close medical watch after developing symptoms similar to bird flu (Source: Xinhua).

India is bird flu free
India has regained its status as an avian influenza-free country, according to a report sent by the Ministry of Agriculture to the World Organisation of Animal Health on Friday (Source: Hindu).

Thailand, Laos talk on bird flu
The Thai and Lao authorities have stepped up cooperation on bird flu, particularly along the Mekong River, which serves as a border between the two countries (Source: Xinhua).

Saturday 12 August 2006

Cambodia reports bird flu outbreak
The Cambodian Agriculture Ministry has confirmed a new outbreak of bird flu in poultry in the country's southeast, a ministry official said on Saturday (Source: AP).

New era of transparency on pandemics?
Indonesia's announcement that it intends to share H5N1 genetic data could herald a new era of transparency; leading international IT firms are getting involved (Source: The Economist).

Friday 11 August 2006

Vietnam finds more bird flu-infected fowl in south
Vietnam has found more ducks and geese infected with the H5 strain of avian influenza in the Tien Giang, Long An and Ben Tre provinces (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 10 August 2006

WHO calls for rethink of anti-virus measures in Thailand
The WHO warned Thailand to urgently review measures taken to control H5N1 both in poultry and humans, to tackle the spread of the disease (Source: Bangkok Post).

Thailand's lack of awareness on flu proving fatal says virologist
The two latest Thai victims of H5N1 died due to insufficient surveillance and the lack of a proper warning system, said a Thai virologist (Source: The Nation).

Late bird flu report in China a communication problem
A Chinese health official said that original military tests showed a man to have died of H5N1 in 2003, but the results were not communicated to the ministry of health until much later (Source: Reuters).

Vietnam kills ducks, tightens bird flu checks
Vietnam has slaughtered 54 ducks in the southern Ben Tre province after tests showed that two of them had an H5 strain of avian influenza, the third such finding this year (Source: Reuters).

Vietnam's bird flu reports go online
VietNam says it will report on the health of its poultry on the WHO's Flunet website (Source: Vietnam News Agency).

Authorities assert 'no bird flu mutation in Thailand'
Thailand's Public Health Ministry says there has not been a mutation of the H5N1 virus and that its prevention measures have been approved by the WHO (Source: Thai News Agency).

Indonesia's wet markets 'must be cleaned up to fight bird flu'
Cleaning up Indonesia's popular wet markets and shifting live birds to separate sanitary locations is a crucial first step in the nation's fight against the bird flu virus, an expert has said (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 9 August 2006

China confirms first bird flu case was in 2003
China has confirmed that the first human death from bird flu there occurred two years earlier than previously thought (Source: SciDev.Net).

Two Indonesian teenagers die of bird flu
Two Indonesian teenagers have died of the bird flu virus, bringing the country's number of human fatalities to 44, health officials say (Source: BBC Online).

Bird flu kills 17-year-old Indonesian girl — WHO
A 17-year-old girl from Jakarta province died of bird flu on 8 August; animal health authorities have collected samples from birds in the neighbourhood for testing (Source: WHO).

China should learn lesson from belatedly confirmed bird flu death
The WHO says China should learn a lesson from the belated confirmation of a human case of bird flu by concentrating on the present challenges like publicity, strengthening surveillance and improving communications (Source: Xinhua).

Tuesday 8 August 2006

WHO confirms Indonesian teenager died of bird flu infection
Investigations into the death of a 16-year-old youth from West Java province revealed the H5 virus subtype in chickens from the household; family members and close contacts have been placed under surveillance (Source: WHO).

Thai government builds bird flu quarantine rooms
In its strongest public admission yet of concern for a possible developing avian influenza epidemic, the Thai government Tuesday set aside Bt20 million (US$530,000) for one hundred quarantine rooms for bird flu patients nationwide (Source: Thai News Agency).

Experts predict more Chinese bird flu cases
Experts say China's admission that bird flu killed a soldier in 2003 — two years earlier than previously acknowledged — suggest more cases may come to light (Source: Guardian Unlimited).

Jakarta defends bird flu efforts as death toll rises
Indonesia yesterday lashed out at critics of its efforts to combat bird flu, saying it had received virtually no international financial support despite pledges of cash, but had slaughtered millions of birds (Source: Gulf News).

3 suspected bird flu patients in Thailand
Three people are suspected of having H5N1 and were admitted to hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday; tests are underway to confirm their infection (Source: Xinhua).

Monday 7 August 2006

New bird flu drug promises to beat resistance
The UK Medical Research Council has issued a research grant for a new kind of drug to fight bird flu; clinical trials should begin within three years (Source: Medical News Today).

CDC puts 40 human H5N1 viruses into public domain
Scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have placed the genetic blueprints of about 40 H5N1 viruses from human bird flu cases in Indonesia into a public database (Source: Canadian Press).

WHO confirms that bird flu killed man in Thailand
The WHO confirmed Thailand's 24th case of human bird flu infection in a 27-year-old man from the central province of Uthai Thani who died on 3 August (Source: WHO).

Flu pandemic impact can be mitigated in cities say researchers
A densely populated city like Hong Kong can cut by half the number of infections in the first year of a flu pandemic using home quarantine, hospital isolation and antivirals, a study suggests (Source: Reuters).

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