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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 21 August 2006

Indonesia plays down talks of bird flu cluster
Indonesia is playing down fears of a cluster of human-to-human H5N1 infections in a village with two confirmed deaths from the virus; three other people died of bird-flu like symptoms but could not be tested (Source: Antara).

Sunday 20 August 2006

Indonesian woman dies of bird flu
A woman has died of bird flu in the Cikelet hamlet, which authorities are investigating after a cluster of human cases of the H5N1 virus (Source: Associated Press).

Regional Asia health meet seeks bird flu strategy
South and South-East Asian countries met in Bangladesh on Sunday to discuss health strategies, including the fight against bird flu, ahead of a regional meeting of the WHO (Source: Reuters).

Saturday 19 August 2006

Thai pharmacies urged to help screen bird flu patients
In a bid to prevent the spread of bird flu, Thailand's Public Health Ministry will encourage pharmacies and drug stores across the country to help screen patients (Source: Xinhua).

Zimbabwe restricts poultry imports to impede bird flu
Zimbabwe has with immediate effect banned the importation of poultry products from outside the Southern African Development Community (Source: Today Online).

Two more bird flu outbreaks in Cambodian ducks
Bird flu outbreaks hit two districts in the Kampong Cham Province of eastern Cambodia, killing thousands of ducks, after a man smuggled infected birds to the region (Source: Reuters).

Friday 18 August 2006

WHO raises concern by changing H5N1 strains for vaccines
The WHO has changed the H5N1 avian influenza strains recommended for candidate vaccines for the first time since 2004, causing some experts to question how far the virus has evolved (Source: CIDRAP).

Thursday 17 August 2006

Indonesian child dies of bird flu
A nine-year-old Indonesian girl who died this week had bird flu, and the village where she lived is rife with the disease, said health officials (Source: Reuters).

Old and new virus strains blamed for Asian bird flu recurrence
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization said that both old and new forms of the bird flu virus are sources of the recent outbreaks in South-East Asia (Source: FAO).

What SARS teaches about bird flu, article
Two Chinese doctors write in the British Medical Journal about how China's outbreaks of SARS in 2002 to 2004 provide lessons for facing bird flu outbreaks (Source: UPI).

Wednesday 16 August 2006

Bird flu warning over partial protection of flocks
Researchers warn that at least 95 per cent of birds in poultry flocks would need to be protected by a vaccine to prevent H5N1 spreading (Source: SciDev.Net).

Bird flu protein's 'pocket' could inspire better drugs
A newly discovered detail of the H5N1 bird flu virus's structure that could be exploited to make new, targeted influenza drugs, say researchers (Source: SciDev.Net).

Ducks slaughtered in China
H5N1 has killed 1,805 ducklings on a farm in central China, prompting authorities to slaughter 217,000 ducks to contain the outbreak (Source: Associated Press).

Tuesday 15 August 2006

Zanzibar destroys illegally imported eggs
Authorities in Zanzibar have destroyed 61,000 eggs that were imported illegally in a effort to prevent H5N1 arriving there (Source: Reuters).

Monday 14 August 2006

China bird flu death from unknown infection source
China's Ministry of Health says the source of the H5N1 infection that killed a man in July is proving difficult to identify (Source: US Department of State).

Indonesian man recovers from bird flu
A 17-year-old male from West Java who was infected with H5N1 has recovered after more than two weeks of sickness (Source: US Department of State).

World Bank gives Laos US$2 million for bird flu
The World Bank granted US$2 million to Laos to help the country prepare for outbreaks of bird flu. The grant is the first from the World Bank-managed Avian and Human Influenza Facility (Source: Reuters).

Hong Kong research grant focuses on avian flu
The Hong Kong government says this year's HK$450 million (US$57.7 million) fund for research into infectious diseases would focus on bird flu (Source: Xinhua).

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