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  • Bird flu update: 19 June 2006

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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.

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Monday 19 June 2006
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International Red Cross to train Myanmar on bird flu
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society will start training people in Myanmar later this month on bird flu prevention and surveillance (Source: Xinhua).

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Sunday 18 June 2006
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Indonesia seeks expert help with bird flu problem
Some of the world's leading influenza experts will gather in Jakarta this week to assess the avian flu situation in Indonesia, which observers say is a welcome sign of the country's concern about the threat (Source: CBC News).

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Saturday 17 June 2006
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Alert against return of bird flu urged in Myanmar
Medical experts in Myanmar have urged people to remain alert against a probable return of H5N1 despite success in containing the virus during its first outbreak in the nation, local media said (Source: Xinhua).

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Friday 16 June 2006
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Local tests show Indonesian boy dies of bird flu
A 14-year-old Indonesian boy from south Jakarta who died this week has tested positive for bird flu, a Health Ministry official said, citing local tests (Source: Reuters).

Today's bird flu vaccines will have to do
The family cluster of bird flu victims in Indonesia last month has led to a major shift in attitude among scientists and vaccine manufacturers that pre-pandemic vaccination against H5N1, even with imperfect vaccines, could significantly cut the eventual death toll (Source: New Scientist).

China, WHO confirm new human case of bird flu
A 31-year-old man in south China's Guangdong province has been confirmed to have contracted bird flu (Source: Xinhua).

New China case suggests H5N1 now more infectious
China's latest human bird flu infection is worrying as it indicates that the H5N1 virus may have become as infectious in warm months as it is in cooler ones, Hong Kong's health minister said (Source: Reuters).

Veterinary virologists to share H5N1 samples
A consortium of veterinary virologists says it will make samples of the H5N1 bird flu virus available to researchers worldwide to process for genetic information that could help monitor the spread of the virus (Source: ).

Bird flu patient checked for neurological symptoms
The only survivor of seven members of an Indonesian family infected with bird flu is being investigated for rare neurological symptoms associated with the illness (Source: Bloomberg).

Hungary poultry bird flu confirmed as H5N1
The H5N1 virus has been found in poultry in Hungary for the first time (Source: Reuters).

Canada finds bird flu, unclear what virus strain
Canada has detected a case of H5 avian flu in a young goose in the eastern province of Prince Edward Island and plans further testing to determine the strain, government officials said (Source: Reuters).

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Thursday 15 June 2006
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Academies ask G8 to tackle global disease surveillance and energy
Twelve national science academies have issued two joint statements to the G8 leaders ahead of the annual summit meeting calling for better global disease surveillance (Source: SciDev.Net).

WHO confirms another bird flu death in Indonesia
The WHO has confirmed that a seven-year-old Indonesian girl from the outskirts of Jakarta who died last month was infected with bird flu; tests had initially been negative (Source: Reuters).

China develops new bird flu vaccines for poultry
China has developed new bird flu vaccines for poultry and a new technology to help diagnose the disease, the Ministry of Agriculture said (Source: Xinhua).

Cuban bird flu preparation "is exemplary" — OIE
The vice president of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) described Cuba's bird flu preparedness as "an example for the world in the integration of social and veterinary medicine" (Source: Cuban News Agency).

World Bank wants clear program for eradicating bird flu in Indonesia
The World Bank said it expects Indonesia to have a clear and detailed plan that can be funded to stop bird flu; Indonesia says it already has such a plan (Source: Xinhua).

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Wednesday 14 June 2006
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Asian countries urged to boost bird flu cooperation
A regional conference on bird flu on Tuesday called on Central Asia and its neighbours to strengthen cooperation in the fight against the disease (Source: Xinhua).

Bird flu vaccine protects ferrets, maybe people
A lab-engineered bird flu vaccine protected ferrets against several strains of H5N1 offering the possibility of making a vaccine ahead of a pandemic, scientists said (Source: Reuters).

WHO centre set up in Guangdong to fight bird flu
China and the WHO set up a centre in south China's Guangdong province to fight infectious diseases and act as a training base for south China (Source: News Guangdong).

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Tuesday 13 June 2006
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Indonesian bird flu is 'highest risk' — World Bank
Indonesia has had nearly half of the worldwide human deaths from bird flu this year, making it one of the highest-risk countries in the world with a mortality rate of 75 per cent, according to a World Bank report (Source: New Straits Times).

People object to poultry cull in Karo, Indonesia
People protested against the government's poultry cull in the North Sumatra district of Karo, eating raw meat in demonstration (Source: Antara).

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Monday 12 June 2006
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H5N1 triggers worse disease in adult cells
The H5N1 virus appears to prompt the human immune system to trigger an exaggerated response from the immune system that creates more damage than it fixes, a new study suggests; the response is particularly severe in adults (Source: Canadian Press).

China acts against H5N1 from migratory birds
China's Ministry of Agriculture issued an emergency order for local governments to tighten controls over poultry stocks to prevent them from being contaminated by migratory birds (Source: Associated Foreign Press).

Ghana warns journalists not to cry wolf over bird flu
A government official has cautioned journalists not to rush into reporting any suspected cases of bird flu in any part of the country before it has been confirmed by a government laboratory (Source: Ghanaian Chronicle).

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