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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 4 September 2006

Egypt reports new bird flu case among fowl 
The Egyptian Agriculture Ministry confirmed a new case of H5N1 among fowl from various villages and farms in Sohag, 400 kilometres south of Cairo (Source: Xinhua).

Sunday 3 September 2006

H5N1 flu does not pass easily to humans, say scientists
The H5N1 is not easily transmitted from infected poultry to humans, even when human-poultry interactions are regular and intense, according to a study of a village in Cambodia (Source: US Department of State).

Friday 1 September 2006

Indonesia hopes to secure US$100 million for bird flu fight
Indonesia hopes to secure about US$100 million to fight bird flu next year, the vice president said; the country has been criticised for not doing enough to control the disease (Source: Reuters).

Indonesia launches bird flu control campaign
Indonesia has launched a national campaign against bird flu in which the government will use all available media to spread information on bird flu control (Source: Monsters and Critics).

US finds low-risk H5N1 bird flu strain in ducks
Agriculture officials in the United States said tests have found the H5N1 avian influenza virus in mallard ducks in Maryland, but that it appeared to be a low-pathogenic strain that posed no risk to humans (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 31 August 2006

Four treated in Indonesia for H5N1 symptoms
Four people have been admitted to an Indonesian hospital with bird flu symptoms in an area of West Java that has seen a series of confirmed and suspected cases in humans, officials said (Source: Reuters).

Questions surround China bird flu vaccine
A leading expert is treating the news that a new Chinese bird flu vaccine appears safe and effective with caution, saying more details and independent checks are needed (Source: Reuters).

Expert calls for animal surveillance in Indonesia
Indonesia must do more animal surveillance to curb H5N1, said a leading expert (Source: Reuters).

US to conduct pre-clinical trials of nasal bird flu vaccine
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a two-year cooperative deal with an Australian pharmaceutical company BioDiem to conduct pre-clinical trials of its bird flu vaccine (Source: 

Thailand prohibits slaughter of chickens in markets
A new law prohibiting vendors from slaughtering chickens in traditional markets was announced by the Thai government (Source: Taiwan News).

Wednesday 30 August 2006

Helping prevent avian influenza in Latin America and the Caribbean
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has published a new handbook for small-scale poultry farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean to help prevent a possible outbreak of avian flu in the region (Source: FAO).

China to mass produce bird flu vaccine
China plans to mass produce a vaccine to protect humans against the deadly bird flu virus after initial tests indicated it was safe, state media said (Source: AFP).

Chinese police break up fake Tamiflu ring
Police in Shanghai have broken up a ring that was selling a fake version of Tamiflu that made more than US$201,000 by selling the drugs online and via other channels in China and in South-East Asia, according to the China Daily (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 29 August 2006

Transfusions 'may cut flu deaths'
Blood plasma transfusions might help to cut deaths in a future flu pandemic, research suggests (Source: BBC Online).
Link to full research paper

Thailand to head fight against bird flu in S-E Asia
Science ministers have decided that Thailand will head the fight against bird flu for the Association of the South-East Asian Nations (Source: Itar-Tass).

WHO defines types of human H5N1 infections
The World Health Organization has published descriptions of what is meant by 'suspected', 'probable', and 'confirmed' cases of human H5N1 infection (Source: WHO).