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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 27 February 2006

Deadly bird flu spreads to Niger
Niger has become the third African country to have confirmed cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu (Source: BBC Online).

China reports two new human cases of bird flu

China reported two new human cases of bird flu, bringing the number of people in the country known to have the virus to 14 (Source: Bloomberg).

Saturday 25 February 2006

Indonesia confirms 20th bird flu death
A WHO-affiliated laboratory has confirmed that a woman who died in Indonesia this month had bird flu, say local officials (Source: IslamOnline).

Bird flu spreads to second Indian state
Bird flu has been confirmed among chickens in the Surat district of Gujarat, officials said on Saturday (Source: Times of India).

Friday 24 February 2006

West Africa agrees regional plan to combat bird flu
The countries of West Africa have agreed on a coordinated plan of action in response to the bird flu threat (Source: SciDev.Net).

Bird flu confirmed in Slovakia
The European Union''s reference laboratory has confirmed two cases of H5N1 in dead birds found in Slovakia (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu returns to Cambodia, official says
The H5N1 bird flu virus has returned to Cambodia — it was found in dead ducks near the border with Vietnam, says a senior official (Source: Reuters).

South Korea 'cannot let guard down against bird flu'
An editorial in a Korean national paper criticises its government's two-year delay in declaring bird flu infections (Source: Chosun Ilbo).

South Korea admits to bird flu in 2003-04
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says four people in the country were infected with bird flu between late 2003 and early 2004 (Source: The Korea Times).

Thursday 23 February 2006

Zambian government warned of bird flu vaccine use
The Zambian government should not rush to vaccinate the country's poultry as no bird flu cases have been reported there so far, says veterinary expert (Source: Xinhua).

USAID increases funding for bird flu preparedness
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is increasing its funding for bird flu activities, part of which will be for poor countries' preparations (Source: USAID).

Pakistan develops US$6.8 million plan to prevent bird flu
The government is preparing a US$6.8m preparation plan in consultation with donor agencies, to supplement its approved US$0.6m project (Source: Dawn).

Uganda seeks US$15m for bird flu prevention
The Ugandan government is seeking US$15 million for a bird flu prevention and control programme (Source: Xinhua).

Wednesday 22 February 2006

India investigates claims of bird flu cover-up
India is investigating claims that a poultry supplier literally buried evidence that the H5N1 bird flu virus had arrived in the country (Source: SciDev.Net).

Afghanistan: efforts against bird flu insufficient, FAO
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that efforts by Afghan authorities and the donor community to prepare for a possible outbreak of bird flu, have been insufficient (Source: Reuters).

Seven people test negative for bird flu in India
At least seven people quarantined in India with suspected bird flu have tested negative for the H5N1 virus (Source: Reuters).

Egypt offers to buy farm chickens due to bird flu
Egypt's government will buy all healthy chickens offered for sale by farmers until late March in a bid to support farms hard hit by the outbreak of bird flu (Source: Reuters).

Zambia announces 1,000-fold rise in bird flu budget
Zambia has sharply increased its budget to fight bird flu after being criticised by media and health specialists for setting aside only around US$4,000 to combat the H5N1 virus (Source: Reuters).

US$50m World Bank project to help Nigeria face bird flu
The World Bank is planning a US$50 million dollar project to help Nigeria cope with the threat of bird flu; funding will come from the Bank's new global financing facility for bird flu, worth up to US$500 million (Source: World Bank).

Tuesday 21 February 2006

Containing outbreak 'would only delay a flu pandemic'
Containing a pandemic flu virus will only buy time until a different pandemic virus emerges somewhere else, say researchers (Source: SciDev.Net).

Bird flu returns to Malaysia
Malaysia's first outbreak of H5N1 in more than a year has prompted officials to cull poultry and look out for infected people (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu confirmed in swans in Hungary
Tests confirm that three dead swans found in Hungary were infected with the H5N1 virus (Source: ABC News).

Monday 20 February 2006

Nigeria: bird flu spreads to three more states and the capital
Three more Nigerian states and the capital Abuja have been affected by the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, says information minister Frank Nweke (Source: Xinhua).

Bird Flu 'isn't becoming more transmissible to humans'
The WHO has stated that the bird flu virus has not become more easily transmissible to humans (Source: Bloomberg).

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