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  • Bird flu update: 24 April 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 24 April 2006

African leaders brainstorm on bird flu
Veterinary and wildlife experts from 19 African countries today begin a five-day meeting in Malawi to discuss ways to monitor bird flu, which has hit five countries on the continent (Source: Independent Online).

Bird flu cases multiply around Pakistani capital
Pakistan reported increasing cases of the deadly H5N1I bird flu virus after discovering more infected farms close to Islamabad; more than 40,000 chickens had been culled (Source: Reuters).

Sunday 23 April 2006

Improper disposal 'could lead to bird flu in humans' – Pakistan
Pakistani ministries have warned that dumping dead chickens in open spaces might help the bird flu virus infect humans (Source: Daily Times).

Saturday 22 April 2006

No human case of H5N1 confirmed in Pakistan
At a press conference with WHO representatives on Friday, the Pakistani secretary of health said that out of 40 samples collected from people in different parts of Islamabad, 23 tests so far have been negative; a national bird flu protection project is awaiting budgetary approval (Source: PakTribune).

Friday 21 April 2006

A long way to go on bird flu research, say scientists
Bird flu researchers call for more work on the virus, from drug resistance to studying the mutations that help it jump from one species to another (Source: SciDev.Net).

Making Tamiflu cheap enough for the poor
As production of flu drug Tamiflu gears up, big questions remain over how affordable — and effective — it will be, reports Martin Enserink (Source: ).

WHO confirms 12 human cases of bird flu in Egypt
The World Health Organization confirmed on Friday that there have been 12 human cases of bird flu in Egypt, four of them fatal (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu infections pass 200 says UN
The number of people worldwide who have been infected with the deadly H5N1 strain bird flu since 2003 has risen to 204, the UN health agency said (Source: CBS News).

Thursday 20 April 2006

Red Cross seeks funds for bird flu fight
The Red Cross appealed for US$13.7 million to train tens of thousands of volunteers to help prevent the spread of H5N1 from birds to humans in remote rural villages, particularly in West and Central Africa (Source: Reuters).

Sudan: suspected human case of bird flu found negative
Laboratory tests on specimens from the first suspected human case of avian influenza in Sudan have proved negative and tests are being carried out on poultry, said the World Health Organization (Source: Reuters).

China confirms 12th human bird flu death
A 21-year old man in China's Hubei Province died on Wednesday of bird flu, according to national authorities; the WHO has not yet confirmed the cause of death (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 19 April 2006

Roche hands Tamiflu treatments over to the WHO
Roche has handed over enough Tamiflu to the World Health Organization to treat 3 million people, part of its pledge to give the organisation access to enough of the drug to treat 5 million people (Source: Bloomberg).

WHO tests confirm 24th bird flu death in Indonesia
Tests done in a WHO-affiliated laboratory in Hong Kong have confirmed that a 24-year-old Indonesian man died of bird flu this month; the country's death toll from the virus now stands at 24 (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu's 'risk to biodiversity'
The spread of bird flu poses serious risks to biodiversity, say scientists who have detailed an outbreak of the virus in Owston's civets, a small endangered mammal that lives in the forests of Vietnam, Laos and southern China (Source: BBC Online).

Avian flu concerns push bans on drugs for animals
US authorities are proposing to ban the use of human antiviral drugs in farm animals, to reduce the likelihood that drug-resistant strains of the avian flu virus emerge (Source: The Christian Science Monitor).

Tuesday 18 April 2006

World Bank earmarks US$500 million for bird flu
The World Bank has set up a $500 million pool to help poor countries combat bird flu (Source: Associated Press).

New pact aims to ready Americas for avian flu
The Inter-American Development Bank and the Pan American Health Organization have signed a US$200,000 agreement to strengthen an early warning system against potential outbreaks of pandemic flu in Latin America and the Caribbean (Source: US Department of State).

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