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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.

Monday 31 October 2005

Asia-Pacific nations meet to discuss bird flu threat
International health officials and disaster management experts from the Asia Pacific region are meeting in Australia at a major conference on bird flu (Source:

Drug giant Roche might produce Tamiflu with China
Roche, the company holding the patent for the flu drug Tamiflu is in talks with officials in China about producing the drug jointly to boost global supplies (Source:

Sunday 30 October 2005

China increases bird flu surveillance
Chinese authorities are increasing surveillance of wild birds and poultry markets in an effort to guard against more outbreaks of bird flu (Source: Reuters).

WHO considers centralised flu vaccine orders
The World Health Organization is discussing plans for a centralised system for buying flu vaccines to save costs, boost immunisation and stimulate research on flu pandemic prevention (Source: Financial Times).

Saturday 29 October 2005

Iraqi bird flu 'is not H5N1'
Two chickens in northern Iraq have bird flu, but it is not the deadly H5N1 strain, according to local officials (Source: Reuters).

Friday 28 October 2005

Africa, Middle East, Latin America prepare for bird flu
SciDev.Net journalists report on efforts to face bird flu in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America (Source: SciDev.Net).

China asked to look again for bird flu link to death
The World Health Organization has asked China to conduct further tests to determine whether a 12-year-old girl died of bird flu (Source: International Herald Tribune).

H5N1 confirmed in Croatian swans
Croatia has confirmed that swans found dead last week were carrying the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus (Source: Reuters).

UAE will coordinate Gulf's response to bird flu
The United Arab Emirates will coordinate the Gulf nations' response to the threat of bird flu (Source: Khaleej Times).

AIDS means Southern Africa at greater risk from bird flu
A World Health Organization official warns that Southern Africa must prepare for bird flu because the region's many people with HIV/AIDS are at greater risk of falling ill (Source: Reuters).

Ill tourists 'not carrying bird flu virus' 
Three people who recently arrived on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion from Thailand are not carrying the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu as was feared (Source: Irish Examiner).

Thursday 27 October 2005
Central China monitors migrant birds
Central China's Henan province has all eight of its surveillance stations monitoring migrant birds (Source: People's Daily).

Why do some people not get bird flu?
This article asks why some people — even those in close contact with infected poultry — don't succumb to the bird flu virus (Source: AP /

Bangladesh 'is not prepared for bird flu'
Poultry industry leaders in Bangladesh have asked the government to take immediate measures to protect the sector and human health from a possible bird flu outbreak (Source Gulf Times). 
China says bird flu did not kill girl
Chinese authorities have said that pneumonia — not bird flu — killed a 12-year-old girl (Source: Reuters).

Philippines monitors wetlands for arrival of bird flu
The Philippines has increased surveillance of 55 wetlands across the country (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 26 October 2005

India testing for bird flu in dead migratory birds
Indian authorise are checking ten dead migratory birds for the bird flu virus and considering creating a stockpile of the flu drug Tamiflu (Source: Reuters).

China has new bird flu outbreak
China has reported its third major outbreak of bird flu in two weeks (Source: BBC Online).

EU advises against eating raw eggs
The European Union's food safety agency has advised against eating raw eggs in order to avoid contamination with the bird flu virus (Source: Business Day).

Girl in China dies with 'flu-like' symptoms
A 12-year-old girl has died suffering flu-like symptoms in a village in central China where the country's third outbreak of bird flu in a week has been reported; if confirmed, it would be China's first known human death from bird flu (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 25 October 2005

Fourth bird flu victim in Indonesia
Bird flu has killed a 23-year-old man in Indonesia (BBC Online).

WHO official advises people to buy Tamiflu
A WHO official in Hong Kong sparked controversy by recommending people create private stocks of anti-flu drug Tamiflu, despite government and medical advice to the contrary (Source: Bangkok Post).

Health officials hold global bird flu meeting
Health officials from around the world have gathered in Canada to discuss strategies — and funding — to prepare for a flu pandemic (Source: AP / The Manila Times).

EU bans wild bird imports
The European Union is banning all imports of live birds; meanwhile, birds in Germany are being tested for the bird flu virus (Source:

Thailand: Second case bird flu found
Thailand has confirmed its second human case of bird flu this year (Source: United Press International).

Monday 24 October 2005

FAO says world not doing enough to tackle bird flu
The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has said that people are focusing too much on the fear of a pandemic and not enough on efforts to contain outbreaks (Source: Reuters).

International Poultry Council formed to fight bird flu
A global poultry association, including Argentina, Brazil, China, European Union, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and the United States, has been formed to help fight bird flu (Source:

More bird flu in Russia
Russia has confirmed 12 more cases of bird flu in chickens (Source: Reuters).

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