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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.

24 September – 1 October 2007

Indonesian man dies from bird flu
A 21-year-old man from West Jakarta has died from bird flu, taking the country's death toll to 86, according to the Indonesian health ministry (source: Reuters).

17–23 September 2007

New device 'detects bird flu in 30 minutes'
Scientists in Singapore have made a hand-held device that they say is faster and cheaper than existing tests for the H5N1 virus. They say the device can detect bird flu in humans from throat swabs in 30 minutes (source: BBC).

Parts of China 'not ready' for outbreaks in poultry
Some parts of China are unprepared to respond to bird flu in poultry, according to China's vice-minister for agriculture. The comments come in the wake of an outbreak of H5N1 in poultry in southern China (source: AFX News).

Africa experiencing decreased bird flu funding
A slump in funding for bird flu measures from international donors could hamper Africa's ability to deal with the disease, an African Union official has said (source: Agence France Presse).

10–16 September 2007

Indonesia taking 'six strategic steps' to control bird flu
Indonesia is taking six strategic steps to improve bird flu control in line with UN recommendations, including communicating with the public, according to a government minister. He made the comments at an avian flu meeting in Bali between the Indonesian government and key international partners. Around 150 health experts from 11 countries attended the meeting, culminating in a draft three-year programme to help Indonesia control the virus' spread (source: Xinhua).

Indonesia resumes sharing of H5N1 samples
Indonesia has resumed sharing H5N1 samples with the WHO, confirmed a UN official and Indonesia's welfare minister (source: Agence France Presse).

Indonesia to start making Tamiflu
Indonesia will start producing the bird flu drug Tamiflu this year to avoid reliance on imports in the event of a further spread of the H5N1 virus (source: Xinhua).
Bird flu fatality rate at 61 per cent
Bird flu has a fatality rate of 61 per cent in humans, according to the WHO's Western Pacific regional director. He said six out of ten people who contracted the virus worldwide have died and emphasised the need for improved response measures (source: Yonhap News Agency).

3–9 September 2007

Indonesia records 85th bird flu death
A 33-year-old man from Riau province in Sumatra, Indonesia, has died from H5N1 bird flu, the WHO confirmed. It brings the country's death toll to 85 (source: Reuters).

Vietnam imports 200 million doses of poultry vaccine
Vietnam has imported 200 million doses of H5N1 vaccine from China for the vaccination of ducklings (source: Thanh Nien News).

Indonesia denies human to human H5N1 spread
Indonesia's health minister has denied any human to human H5N1 transmission in the country, following a statistical study that indicated this was likely to have already occurred in the country. The minister said there was no epidemiological evidence or virology report corroborating this and that, if it had happened, thousands would have died (source: Xinhua).

H5N1 'largely confined to domestic birds'
The H5N1 virus is mainly confined to domesticated poultry and not wild birds, according to the UN. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reviewed tests of wild birds from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe between 2005 and 2007. They found no evidence of bird flu infection (source: The Associated Press).

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