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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.

Saturday 19 May 2007

Hunan poultry in new bird flu outbreak
China's Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Yiyang city, Hunan Province has killed more than 11,000 poultry (Source: Xinhua).

Friday 18 May 2007

Ghana H5N1 strain not new
Analysis of the H5N1 strain isolated from a recent outbreak in Ghana indicates that it is closely related to other isolates from sub-Saharan Africa and not a newly introduced strain, says the World Organisation for Animal Health (Source: World Organisation for Animal Health).

Wednesday 16 May 2007

Poor countries demand fair share of bird flu vaccines
Seventeen developing countries, led by Indonesia, have demanded access to any bird flu vaccines produced in the event of a pandemic, in a resolution presented to the World Health Assembly in Geneva (Source: Reuters).

Indonesia sends just three bird flu samples
Indonesia has sent just three bird flu samples to WHO laboratories and will not send more until there is progress towards an agreement ensuring that developing countries get a share of any vaccines developed from such samples (Source: New Scientist).

WHO logs Indonesian bird flu cases
The WHO have formally logged 15 human bird flu cases from Indonesia which had gone unconfirmed since Indonesia stopped sending samples. The organisation will no longer require external laboratories to confirm Indonesian cases (Source: CIDRAP). 

WHO boss pledges bird flu vaccine access
WHO chief Margaret Chan has pledged to ensure that poor countries get access to bird flu vaccines at an affordable price in the event of a pandemic (Source: Reuters).

Monday 14 May 2007

Twenty undergoing treatment for bird flu in Indonesia
Twenty Indonesians are currently undergoing treatment for H5N1 bird flu, according to an official from the country's bird flu information centre (Source: Agence France Presse).

Influenza drug to be tested across Asia
A new antiviral drug, Peramivir, designed to treat all kinds of influenza including H5N1, will undergo clinical trials across Asia next month (June)(Source: Reuters).

Vietnam to recycle Tamiflu
Vietnam's National Institute of Chemistry plans to extract the active ingredient from expired batches of the antiviral drug Tamiflu in order to reuse it for bird flu treatments (Source: Thanh Nien News).

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