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Below is a round-up 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.

Sunday 15 April 2007

China 'hoarding bird flu samples'
The WHO says China has not shared samples of its bird flu viruses since early 2006 (Source: The Canadian Press).

Egypt allocates US$42 million for bird flu fight
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif has allocated US$42 million dollars to the ministries of health and agriculture to help combat bird flu (Source: Agence France-Presse).

Friday 13 April 2007

US$38 million for Vietnam's bird flu fight
Vietnam will receive US$38 million in grants and loans to fight bird flu and prepare for a potential pandemic, the World Bank has announced (Source: Associated Press).

Thursday 12 April 2007

Taiwan to mass-produce bird flu vaccine
Taiwanese scientists are preparing to mass-produce a bird flu vaccine, using dog kidney cells rather than chicken eggs to grow the virus. This could lessen the impact of egg shortages in the event of an outbreak (Source: Agence France-Presse).

India launches bird flu awareness programme
India's Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a bird flu awareness programme, funded largely by the World Bank (Source: Asian News International).

Wednesday 11 April 2007

Egyptian girl dies of bird flu
A 15-year-old Egyptian girl who tested positive for the H5N1 virus last week has died, the WHO have confirmed. This brings the number of deaths from the disease in Egypt to 14 (Source: Reuters).

Flu vaccine grown in insect cells
Scientists have used insect cells to grown an experimental influenza vaccine. This technology could bypass the need to use chicken eggs for vaccine production in a bird flu pandemic (Source: BBC).

Tuesday 10 April 2007

Thailand and Laos to boost bird flu cooperation
Thailand and Laos will cooperate on the prevention and control of bird flu after public health ministers signed an agreement to improve prevention and control measures. The agreement will also cover other re-emerging diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis (Source: Thai News Agency).

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