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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 30 January 2006

Indonesian man 'died of bird flu'
A 22-year old man has died of bird flu, say Indonesian officials, though the WHO has yet to confirm the finding (Source: Xinhuanet).

Sunday 29 January 2006

H5N1 found in dead bird in Cyprus
The European Commission says dead birds found in northern Cyprus had the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus (Source: Voice of America).

Hong Kong finds H5N1 in dead wild bird
For the second time this month, the bird flu virus has been found in a dead Oriental Magpie Robin (Source: Reuters AlertNet).

Falcons tested for bird flu in Saudi Arabia
After detecting the H5 strain of bird flu in falcons, Saudi Arabia awaits results to confirm whether the virus is the H5N1 subtype (Source: Xinhua).

Saturday 28 January 2006

UN may use 'flu-casters' if pandemic hits
The United Nations is considering using 'flu-casters', modelled on television weather forecasters, to publicise vital information if a global flu pandemic strikes (Source: Reuters).

Friday 27 January 2006

UN studies lower mortality rate in Turkish bird flu
The lower mortality rate for people infected with bird flu in Turkey could be a sign that the virus is becoming less deadly in humans, says a UN official (Source: Reuters).

Donors plan how to spend US$1.9 billion on bird flu
Donor agencies and international health organisations are trying to decide how best to spend the US$1.9 billion pledged to fight bird flu (Source: )

China's bird flu strategy 'needs overhaul'
An editorial in Nature argues that China's reluctance to join global efforts to control bird flu points to the need for a new strategy (Source: ).

North Korea dismisses bird flu claims
Officials in Pyongyang say claims of a bird flu outbreak in North Korea are mere rumours (Source: CBC News).

WHO says Indonesian markets raise bird flu risk
The WHO has warned that unsanitary conditions in Indonesia's markets make them breeding grounds for the bird flu virus (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 26 January 2006

Gene study may have found bird flu's lethal weapon
In a study that identifies thousands of new bird flu genes, researchers have spotted a clue as to why the virus is so lethal (Source: SciDev.Net).

H5N1 vaccine '100 per cent effective' in mice and chickens
Researchers say they have genetically engineered a bird flu vaccine that completely protects mice and chickens from the H5N1 virus (Source: University of Pittsburgh).

WHO backs early adoption of bird flu rules
The WHO says international rules obliging countries to report human cases of bird flu promptly and share data could be brought forward to come into effect this year (Source: ABC News).

UN and Vietnam launch countrywide bird flu media campaign
The United Nations and Vietnam's government launched a media campaign to educate the public about the bird flu threat (Source: United Nations).

Wednesday 25 January 2006

Egypt farmer dumps 10,000 chicks in bird flu flap
An Egyptian farmer dumped 10,000 newly hatched chicks on a desert road because he feared — incorrectly — that they had the deadly bird flu virus (Source: Reuters AlertNet).

Tuesday 24 January 2006

Computer database tracks global bird flu research
A US database that logs all research findings on bird flu seeks to help scientists develop a vaccine against the virus (Source: Voice of America).

Asia 'slow to report bird flu cases', says WHO
A WHO official has criticised Asian nations for being slow to report cases of bird flu (Source: Reuters).

Afghanistan: UN warns of bird flu risk
An official from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that Afghanistan is at risk of bird flu outbreaks, because its veterinary services are derelict and many birds pass through the country as they migrate (Source: Reuters).

Monday 23 January 2006

China announces 10th human case of bird flu
A 29-year-old woman from the Sichuan province in China is the country's tenth person to test positive for infection with H5N1, says China’s health ministry (Source: Reuters).

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