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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.

Monday 7 August 2006

Indonesian teenager tests positive for bird flu
A 16-year-old Indonesian youth from Bekasi on the outskirts of Jakarta has tested positive for bird flu, according to results from a local laboratory (Source: Reuters).

Thailand kicks off campaign to halt bird flu
Thailand began a week-long campaign to check each house in 29 of its 76 provinces for sick or dead chickens, and to educate villagers on the H5N1 virus, which is staging a comeback in the country (Source: Reuters).

Sunday 6 August 2006

Jordanian farmers to be compensated for bird cull
The Ministry of Agriculture will begin compensating farmers affected by the recent bird cull aimed at preventing the spread of H5N1, a ministry official said (Source: The Jordan Times).

Saturday 5 August 2006

Indonesia to buy Chinese bird flu vaccine for poultry
The Indonesian government will import nearly 100 million doses of a Chinese vaccine against the H5N2 bird flu virus so it can mass-vaccinate poultry (Source: Xinhua).

Bird flu kills 27-year-old Thai farmer
A 27-year-old Thai man has died of bird flu in the province of Uthai Thani, north of Bangkok, after burying a dead chicken with his bare hands (Source: Reuters). 

Indonesia aims to develop bird flu vaccine for people
Research is underway in Indonesia to develop a vaccine to protect people from bird flu — initial results are due in November (Source: Xinhua).

Friday 4 August 2006

Bird flu did not kill Thai girl; 39 suspected cases await results
A nine-year-old girl from Lop Buri province who died from bird-flu like symptoms yesterday did not have the H5N1 virus — 39 more suspected cases are awaiting test results (Source: Bangkok Post).

Closer study of emerging H5N1 strains needed
A leading virologist has urged countries battling new H5N1 outbreaks in birds to analyse the genetic makeup of the virus to help trace the origins of outbreaks (Source: Reuters).

Thai bird flu case suggests virus is under-reported in poultry
The European Centre for Disease Surveillance and Control warned that the death from bird flu of a 17-year-old Thai man last week suggests the virus is being under-reported in poultry (Source: Bloomberg).

Laos and Thailand plan bird flu cooperation
Officials from Laos and Thailand will meet on 8 August to discuss cooperation to contain the spread of the H5N1 virus (Source: Thai News Agency).

Thursday 3 August 2006

China bird flu patient recovers, cause a mystery
A 31-year-old Chinese man from Shenzhen who was diagnosed with bird flu in June has recovered and left hospital, but where and how he picked up the virus is still a mystery (Source: Reuters).

Vietnamese man suspected of bird flu
A 35-year-old man was hospitalised in the southern province of Kien Giang, on the border with Cambodia, with suspected bird flu (Source: Reuters).

Seven Indonesians do not have bird flu
Lab results have indicated that seven Indonesians who were suspected of being infected with bird flu are free of H5N1 or any other type of bird flu (Source: Medical News Today).

Indonesia follows FAO/OIE lead and pledges to publish H5N1 data
In an apparent policy shift, Indonesia said it will freely share genetic data on H5N1 viruses, two days after the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) pledged to make virus data freely accessible (Source: CIDRAP).

Thai officials step up efforts to combat bird flu
Thailand's health ministry has set up a working group to investigate and evaluate any failures that may have led to the resurgence of the disease in the country (Source: ThaiDay).

Thai bird flu drug on sale in November
Thailand is due to launch its own version of Roche's Tamiflu anti-flu drug in November, a senior official said (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 2 August 2006

H5N1 and human flu 'hybrid' does not spread
Researchers who combined a human flu virus with the H5N1 bird flu virus say that none of the hybrid viruses produced were capable of triggering a pandemic (Source: SciDev.Net).

Emergency talks to limit bird-flu damage in Thailand
The agriculture ministry has called an emergency meeting with livestock officials from the 21 provinces on high alert for bird flu, amid fears of more outbreaks of the H5N1 virus (Source: The Nation).

Tuesday 1 August 2006

FAO/OIE to make virus data freely accessible
Sequences of virus strains will be deposited on the free-access database, GenBank, which will be accessible to the entire scientific community, says OFFLU, the OIE/FAO joint network of expertise on bird flu (Source: FAO).

Thailand to jail farmers over bird flu
Thailand vowed to jail farmers who fail to report poultry deaths within 12 hours —they face up to two months in jail and fines of up to 4,000 baht (US$106) (Source: Bloomberg).

Hundreds of chickens die of bird flu on Bali
Hundreds of dead chickens found on Bali, Indonesia have tested positive for H5N1, an official said (Source: Associated Press).

Monday 31 July 2006

Thai PM seeks to ease fears of economic fallout from bird flu
Prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra says the government can control the latest outbreak of bird flu, amid mounting concerns for industries such as tourism and poultry exports (Source: Terranet).

Venezuela lifts ban on Colombian poultry
Venezuela has lifted a ban on poultry imports from Colombia, reversing a measure put in place last year after Colombian officials detected a mild strain of bird flu (Source: Associated Press).