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  • Bird flu update: 23 December 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.

Friday 23 December 2005

We must not give up on Tamiflu, says WHO
A senior World Health Organization official yesterday tried to calm fears that Tamiflu may have only limited use in the event of a pandemic (Source: Guardian).

Bird flu may have killed Vietnamese man
A 39-year-old man who died of a lung infection on Wednesday in southern Vietnam's Soc Trang province, may be the country's latest bird flu victim doctors said today (Source: Reuters).

WHO wants bird flu samples from animals in China
The World Health Organization has called on China to hand over samples of the H5N1 virus taken from infected animals; so far none has been provided (Source: Associated Press).

China not past bird flu, warns WHO
The World Health Organization has warned China that it is too early to tell if bird flu is under control in the country, and prevention and detection measures should be strengthened (Source: Xinhua).

Colombia pronounced free of bird flu
Colombia has been declared free of any kind of bird flu; a large number of Latin American countries banned Colombian poultry imports when a mild strain of bird flu was detected on several farms two months ago (Source: Xinhua).

Thursday 22 December 2005

Drug-resistant bird flu killed two Vietnamese
Researchers say bird flu killed two Vietnamese people when the H5N1 virus developed resistance to Tamiflu, the drug of choice for treating it (Source: SciDev.Net).

Two more Indonesian bird flu deaths confirmed
Two Indonesians who died earlier this month — a 39-year-old man and eight-year-old boy — were infected with H5N1, bringing Indonesia's bird flu death toll to 11 (Source: Reuters).

No more bird flu in Russia
There are currently no cases of bird flu on any Russian farms, the Russian agriculture minister said today; several regions were affected in November (Source: Russian News and Information Agency Novosti).

Russia to start bird flu antidote production in early 2006
A Russian company says it has developed a disinfectant that can kill the bird flu virus; production is due to start in January 2006 (Source: Russian News and Information Agency Novosti).

Quarantine in central China lifted
A 24-day quarantine in Yongzhou, in central China's Hunan Province, was lifted this morning, local officials said (Source: People's Daily).

Africa faces special challenges in fighting bird flu
Africa's biggest challenge in the event of bird flu a outbreak is rapid mobilisation, to prevent the disease spreading from animals to humans, says a development economist (Source: Washington File / US Department of State).

Malawi bird deaths due to rains, not bird flu
Thousands of dead migratory birds found in Malawi last week were not killed by bird flu but died in a heavy downpour, say veterinary experts (Source: Mail and Guardian).

Japan invents fabric to destroy bird flu
Japan has invented a fabric that destroys bird flu strain H5N1; it will be used to make facemasks, clothes and air conditioning systems (Source:

Wednesday 21 December 2005

China starts human trials of bird flu vaccine
China has begun human trials of a bird flu vaccine, with six out of a total of 120 volunteers receiving injections (Source: Xinhua).

North Korea claims bird flu breakthrough
North Korea today claimed its scientists had developed a method of accurately identifying all bird flu viruses as the country stepped up its campaign against the disease (Source: Ireland On-Line).

Another central Vietnamese province hit by bird flu
Quang Nam became the latest province in Vietnam to be struck by bird flu; samples from local ducks tested positive for H5N1 (Source:

More suspected bird flu cases in Romania
Romania today announced a third village in Ialomita county, 100km east of Bucharest, had been infected with bird flu; two cases were reported last week (Source: Reuters).

And more still...
Officials today also confirmed another outbreak of bird flu in poultry in the southeastern town of Chichinetu in Romania (Source:

Tuesday 20 December 2005

China to host international bird flu summit in January
China will host World Bank and European Commission representatives in Beijing in January to discuss the funding of anti-bird flu measures around the world (Source: Bloomberg).

China hands human bird flu strains to WHO
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention today gave the World Health Organization samples of the H5N1 virus isolated from humans (Source: Xinhua).

Indonesia to start house-to-house bird flu surveillance
Indonesia plans to use local communities, student volunteers and the military to monitor poultry across the country's capital, Jakarta, for bird flu (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu returns to central Vietnam
Bird flu has killed nearly 2,700 poultry in Quang Tri, one of nine localities in Vietnam that was ready to announce an end to bird flu outbreaks (Source: Xinhua).

Bird flu in Ukraine similar to that in Far East
The bird flu virus infecting villages in the Crimean peninsula has been identified as the H5N1 strain, genetically similar to the virus responsible for outbreaks in the Far East (Source: Russian News and Information Agency Novosti).

Ethiopia free of bird flu
Birds suspected of having died from bird flu in Ethiopia have tested negative for the disease (Source: IRIN).

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