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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 24 July 2006

More suspected bird-flu cases emerge in Thailand
Three more people with suspected bird-flu have been reported in Phichit, Thailand: two men aged 59 and 86 and a seven-year-old boy (Source: Xinhua).

Sunday 23 July 2006

Human bird flu cases suspected in northern Thailand
A 67-year-old hunter and his 35-year-old son-in-law have been admitted to hospital in Uttaradit, Thailand, with suspected bird flu; they were from one of the seven Thai provinces declared a "red zone" by officials (Source: Xinhua).

Bulgarian bird flu likely not highly virulent type
Bird flu reported in Bulgaria is most probably not from the highly virulent H5 or H7 strain, veterinarian officials said (Source: Reuters).

Saturday 22 July 2006

New bird flu outbreak reported in Xinjiang
A new bird flu outbreak has killed 3,045 chickens in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said the Ministry of Agriculture; another 356,976 chickens have been culled (Source: Xinhua).

Friday 21 July 2006

Indonesia vows to compensate farmers for bird flu culls
Indonesia's vice president called on local authorities to follow poultry culling orders in areas infected with bird flu and vowed to compensate farmers (Source: Associated Press).

WHO urges quick action on emerging infectious diseases
Infectious disease specialists met to work on the WHO Asia Pacific strategy on emerging diseases, proposing to take specific steps to ensure a faster and more comprehensive response to avian influenza, including building capacity for detection (Source: Xinhua).

Thursday 20 July 2006

Bulgaria finds avian flu in domestic birds
Bulgaria says it has detected bird flu in three farms in the south of the country near the Turkish border and suspected it was H5N1; testing is underway (Source: Reuters).

Indonesia bird flu deaths hit 42 says WHO
Indonesia has recorded its 42nd human bird flu death, says the WHO: a 44-year-old man who died last week had the H5N1 virus (Source: BBC Online).

Suphan Buri province in Thailand given 'emergency' status
An unusual rise in suspected H5N1 poultry deaths has led the Suphan Buri provincial livestock office to declare it at risk of becoming a centre for an epidemic, calling it an "emergency disaster area" (Source: The Nation).

Vietnam set to open more flu monitoring centres
Vietnam is set to open five more centres to monitor the development of influenza in the country, taking the number of monitoring centres in Vietnam to 15 (Source: Thanhnien News).

Wednesday 19 July 2006

Kenyan flamingo deaths not linked to bird flu
Bird flu has been ruled out as the cause of hundreds of flamingo deaths reported in Kenya's Lake Nakuru National Park in the last two weeks; Kenya Wildlife Service says that lack of freshwater is probably to blame, but samples have been sent to test for H5N1 (Source: The Standard).

Two more suspected bird flu cases in Thailand
Two young sisters aged three and four were hospitalised this week in the lower northern province of Phichit after they developed bird flu-like symptoms, said provincial officials (Source: Thai News Agency).

Tuesday 18 July 2006

S. Africa says ostrich bird flu under control
South Africa's department of agriculture said that an outbreak of a less virulent strain of avian flu (H5N2) among ostriches in the Western Cape province was under control (Source: Reuters).

WHO preparing instructions to stop human-to-human bird flu spread
The WHO is preparing instructions to stop the spread of human-to-human bird flu (Source: Azeri Press Information Agency).

Bird flu detected in Spain a week before authorities acted
A laboratory in the Basque Country of Spain has said that authorities were told of a potentially bird flu infected dead bird one week before they took action; the lack of an appropriate response breaks European Commission guidelines, said the lab (Source: Expatica).

Thailand tightens bird flu surveillance
Thailand has stepped up bird flu surveillance for the hot monsoon season when the virus could re-emerge; provinces on the watch list are Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and Pichit (Source: The Asian Pacific Post).

Monday 17 July 2006

India develops local bird flu vaccine
Officials in India say they have successfully produced a vaccine against H5N1 bird flu in poultry (Source: News-Medical.Net).

Nigerian government urged to curtail importation of birds
A top agriculture official has advised the Nigerian government to make strict laws to limit the importation of birds with avian flu into the country, saying that such laws would save the nation's livestock from extinction (Source: Xinhua).

Bird flu pandemic could claim US$800b in first year alone - WHO
A bird flu pandemic could inflict hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses within a year, said the assistant director-general of the WHO (Source: RIA Novosti).