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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 6 March 2006

Polish lab confirms first case of H5N1 virus
Two dead swans found in northern Poland had the H5N1 strain of bird flu, according to the national veterinary institute (Source: Reuters).

China confirms another human bird flu death
The Chinese Ministry of Health says a 32-year-old man in Guangdong province in southern China died of bird flu (Source: Xinhua).

Boy and pregnant woman die of suspected bird flu in Indonesia
A pregnant woman with symptoms of bird flu has died in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, while a boy who died in central Java over the weekend was also suspected of carrying the virus, officials said (Source: AFP).

Friday 3 March 2006

Call to release more data on bird flu
A prominent Italian influenza scientist has renewed the debate about how to balance global health against the scientific need to publish and national demands for secrecy (Source: ).

Evidence points to migratory birds in H5N1 spread
With the H5N1 avian influenza virus racing around the globe, scientists are debating new evidence on the role of migratory birds (Source: ).

Bird flu a long-term threat to Africa
Bird flu could devastate livelihoods of millions on small poultry farmers in Africa, says the BBC World Service's economics correspondent (Source: BBC Online).

Drug company denies talk of vaccine deal with Indonesia
Pharmaceutical company Baxter has denied rumours that it had agreed to research a bird flu vaccine in collaboration with the Indonesian government (Source: MarketWatch).

WHO to host talks on containing bird flu pandemic
The WHO says that a meeting of experts next week will sharpen plans for containing any human influenza pandemic (Source: Reuters).

Nigerian human samples arrive for bird flu test in UK
Samples from four possible Nigerian human bird flu cases have arrived for tests at a laboratory in Britain, says the WHO (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 2 March 2006

High-tech network needed to track disease threats
Jean-Paul Chretien and colleagues suggest rich nations fund a network of high-tech laboratories to monitor emerging diseases in developing countries (Source: Nature).

OIE confirms H5 bird flu virus in Pakistan
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed the presence of an H5 avian flu virus in Pakistan; further tests are underway in the United Kingdom (Source: OIE).

Chemotherapy treatment suggested for bird flu patients
Chemotherapy given to patients with an immune system disorder could help treat human cases of bird flu, but it has not been tested in patients, say researchers (Source: Reuters).

China sets up bird flu monitoring network ahead of migration
In an attempt to halt any spread of bird flu, China is setting up a surveillance system to monitor wild birds in an eastern province used as a major migration route (Source: Mainichi Daily News).

Japanese researchers find new way to make Tamiflu
A team of Japanese researchers has developed a new way of producing the anti-flu drug Tamiflu that does not rely on natural ingredients and could help ensure more stable supplies (Source: Reuters).

Nigerian officials try to identify source of bird flu
Illegal poultry imports could be to blame for bird flu's arrival in Nigeria, say officials (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 1 March 2006

Switzerland finds second bird flu case in dead swan
Switzerland has found its second case of H5 bird flu in a dead swan near the German border, but said it would be another week before it is known whether it is the more aggressive H5N1 form of the virus (Source: Reuters).

African press eyes bird flu dangers
Across Africa, publications are covering bird flu, with some carrying reassuring reports that their countries are on top of the situation while others cast doubt on their governments' ability to cope (Source: BBC Online).

Tuesday 28 February 2006

Kenya test for deadly bird flu strain
Kenyan authorities are testing dead birds dumped on near the capital, Nairobi, for the H5N1 bird flu virus (Source: SABC News).

Pakistan: 25,000 birds culled
As many as 25,000 chickens were culled on Tuesday at two farms in Pakistan's North West Frontier province, where a mild form of bird flu was detected (Source: Reuters).

Ethiopia testing for bird flu
Ethiopia has sent samples of dead poultry to an Italian animal health centre to test for the H5N1 bird flu virus (Source: Reuters).

Monday 27 February 2006

Nigerian poultry farmers import bird flu vaccine
Nigerian poultry farmers will receive their first batch of imported bird flu vaccine this week; the H5N1 virus has spread to nine of the country's 36 states (Source: Bloomberg).

Venezuela announces bird flu plan
The Venezuelan government has announced a national plan to battle possible outbreaks of bird flu in birds and in humans (Source: Xinhua).

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