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  • Bird flu update: 13 March 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.

Monday 13 March 2006

China 'secrecy' stalls bird flu vaccine
Bureaucrats in Beijing have been accused of delaying sharing samples of H5N1 viruses with the international community (Source: The Australian).

H5 strain of bird flu detected in Afghanistan
The H5 strain of bird flu has been found in Afghanistan, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization; samples are still being analysed to see if they are H5N1 (Source: Xinhua).

China urged to test healthy chickens for H5N1
Experts want China to conduct random tests on live poultry in its markets after a study found apparently healthy poultry had the deadly H5N1 virus (Source: Reuters).

Myanmar tests show first case of bird flu
Myanmar has found the H5N1 bird flu virus in chickens in what is believed to be the country's first case of the disease; samples have been sent to Australia and Thailand for confirmation (Source: Reuters).

Sunday 12 March 2006

Cameroon becomes fourth African state with bird flu
Cameroon has reported it first bird flu outbreak — the H5N1 virus was found on a duck farm in its northernmost province (Source: Reuters).

Friday 10 March 2006

Bird flu-infected poultry found in China markets
Up to one per cent of apparently healthy chickens, ducks and geese in markets in southern China have the H5N1 bird flu virus, say researchers in Hong Kong and China (Source: Reuters).

WHO to train experts in human bird flu containment
The WHO says it will train 100 experts worldwide in how to contain an outbreak of the bird flu virus if it starts spreading easily between humans (Source: Reuters).

Indonesian bird flu death toll rises to 22
A 12-year-old and a three-year-old are Indonesia's latest victims of bird flu, according to tests done in WHO-affiliated laboratories (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 9 March 2006

WHO and FAO issue advice on cats and bird flu
UN agencies are advising that cats be kept indoors in areas with outbreaks of the H5N1 bird flu virus, but stress that there is no evidence that infected cats have spread the virus to people (Source: SciDev.Net).

Poultry trade seen as main bird flu risk in Africa
The poultry trade poses a bigger risk for the spread of bird flu in Africa than migratory birds, said medical and veterinary experts after a Southern African Development Community meeting on the issue (Source: Reuters).

Indonesian firm to produce new bird flu vaccine for poultry
An Indonesian-Japanese joint venture will start producing a new bird flu vaccine for poultry using reverse genetics technology (Source: AFP).

Africa 'must fight bird flu itself'
African countries should not rely on rich nations to help tackle bird flu, warned WHO director general Lee Jong-Wook during a visit to Kenya (Source: BBC Online).

Bird flu found in new mammal in Germany
The H5N1 bird flu virus has been found for the first time in a weasel-like mammal called a stone marten, a German laboratory said Thursday (Source: AP).

Serbia says H5N1 found in swan
Serbia has confirmed its first case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in a swan found last week in the northern Sombor region, close to the Croatian border (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 8 March 2006

India says bird flu contained but threat remains
Indian health officials say they have contained an outbreak of bird flu in poultry, but the virus was still present in bird waste two weeks after the first cases were reported (Source: Reuters).

Girl dies from bird flu, bringing China's toll to 10
A nine-year-old girl in east China's Zhejiang Province died from bird flu on 6 March, becoming China's tenth human victim of the disease (Source: People's Daily Online).

New bird flu vaccines necessary-US official
Experts are developing new vaccines against H5N1, a top US health official said on Monday, claiming that the virus that is causing outbreaks in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East is different from an earlier form (Source: Xinhua).

Angola sets up bird flu prevention commission
Angola's new commission will monitor and test birds for disease, control bird imports and run public awareness campaigns (Source: Xinhua).

Albania finds deadly bird flu strain in chicken
Albania says its first case of the H5N1 virus was in a chicken in southern Sarande, a coastal region near the border with Greece; tests in the United Kingdom have confirmed the finding (Source: Reuters).

Africa to get sizeable portion of bird flu funds
Africa will receive a "sizeable portion" of the US$2 billion pledged to fight bird flu, says the head of the WHO (Source: Reuters).

Beijing urges bird flu cooperation
China yesterday urged other governments to share more information about human bird flu cases to prevent a pandemic, and an official report said many residents in China's vast hinterland are uninformed about the disease (Source: AP).

Japanese researcher makes synthetic Tamiflu
A University of Tokyo researcher says he has made a synthetic version of Tamiflu, thought to be the most effective drug against bird flu (Source: Nature).

Vietnam launches campaign to clean up poultry farms
Vietnam has launched a month-long campaign to disinfect poultry farms nationwide in a bid to prevent more bird flu outbreaks (Source: AP)

Thailand joins regional study on bird flu in humans
Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam have agreed to conduct a joint study on bird flu in humans, aimed at finding ways to treat infected people (Source: Xinhua).

Tuesday 7 March 2006

WHO urges more studies on bird flu infections in cats
Reports that a cat contracted bird flu and has not fallen ill could mean the virus is adapting to mammals and poses a potentially higher risk to humans, says a WHO official (Source: Reuters).

China's latest bird flu death adds to worries for HK
China's reports its ninth human death from bird flu, and first in an urban area; the 32-year-old man in Hong Kong probably caught the virus from apparently healthy poultry, says the city's health minister (Source: Reuters).

Ethiopia burns 9,000 chickens to prevent bird flu spread
Ethiopia says it has incinerated all the chickens at a farm where preliminary tests on dead poultry revealed a bird flu-like infection (Source: Xinhua).

Agencies plan joint action against bird flu in Americas
Experts from Latin America and the Caribbean met at the Pan American Health Organization to discuss joint preparations for the possible arrival of H5N1 in the Americas (Source: Pan American Health Organization).

FAO to boost its bird flu role
The Food and Agriculture Organization is to play a greater role in fighting bird flu, becoming a "global clearing house" for efforts to stem the spread of the virus, it said on Tuesday (Source: Reuters).

Monday 6 March 2006

Nigeria begins bird flu payments
Nigeria's government has started paying compensation to farmers whose poultry have been killed because of bird flu (Source: BBC Online).

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