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  • Bird flu update: 21 November 2005


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.

Monday 21 November 2005

China confirms 21st bird flu outbreak
China says more than 20 million poultry have been killed or culled in its 21 outbreaks of bird flu to date (Source: Xinhua).

WHO stresses need for bird flu surveillance
A World Health Organization official warns it could take 6-12 months for developing countries to set up adequate bird flu surveillance systems (Source: Voice of America).

Sunday 20 November 2005

Alert system to warn of bird flu in wild birds
An international alliance led by the UN will set up a global system to warn of bird flu outbreaks in migratory birds (Source: Xinhua).

Saturday 19 November 2005

Asia-Pacific prepares for pandemic
Nations in the Asia-Pacific region have pledged to be open about bird flu outbreaks and will simulate a human outbreak next year to test their preparations (Source:

Friday 18 November 2005

First human death from bird flu confirmed in China
China has announced its first confirmed, and second suspected, deaths from human bird flu, along with another confirmed human infection (Source: SciDev.Net).

Deaths prompt Tamiflu safety check
US and European drug regulators are reviewing the safety of flu drug Tamiflu among children and adolescents after reports of 12 deaths and psychiatric symptoms among Japanese users (Source: The Guardian).

China 'dealing with bird flu better than it did with SARS'
Health specialists say China is responding to the bird flu threat in a faster, more effective and more open way than it tackled SARS in 2003 (Source: / AP).

Bird flu spreads to a quarter of Vietnam's provinces
Fresh outbreaks of bird flu in poultry mean that one in four of the country's provinces have recorded outbreaks since October (Source:

Industry steps up efforts to develop avian flu vaccine
Four prototype vaccines against bird flu in humans are set to be submitted to regulatory authorities for approval before the end of 2006 (Source: British Medical Journal).

Thursday 17 November 2005

Multiple strains of bird flu virus spreading in Vietnam
Vietnamese scientists say the H3 and H4 strains of bird flu virus are circulating in poultry in addition to the H5N1 virus that has killed 67 people in Asia (Source: Reuters).

HIV/AIDS could make bird flu pandemic more likely
Bird flu could readily mutate into a pandemic form if it infects people with Aids, a flu expert has warned (Source: BBC Online).

Wednesday 16 November 2005

Two more bird flu deaths confirmed in Indonesia
Indonesian officials say tests have confirmed that bird flu killed two people this month, bringing the country's total number of dead to seven (Source: ABC news).

China to vaccinate 14 billion poultry against bird flu
China plans to vaccinate all poultry against bird flu (Source: China Daily).

South Asia to set up disease and disaster centres
South Asian nations are to create two regional centres to detect and respond to natural disasters and emerging health threats such as bird flu (Source: SciDev.Net).

Tamiflu firms in licensing deal
Two major pharmaceutical companies have ended their dispute over rights to royalties from sales of the flu drug Tamiflu (Source: BBC Online).

Indonesia fears more cases of bird flu in people
An official in Indonesia has warned that its confirmed cases of bird flu in people could be 'the tip of the iceberg' (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 15 November 2005

Latin American nations to set up bird flu data bank
Health ministers from seven countries in Latin America have agreed to create a joint information bank to help them face the threat of bird flu (Source: SciDev.Net).

UK bird flu from Taiwanese finches, not Surinam parrot
Bird flu detected in birds that died in UK quarantine came from finches from Taiwan, not from a South American parrot, as had been thought (Source: BBC Online).

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