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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.

30 July – 6 August 2007

Vietnamese woman dies from bird flu
A pregnant 22-year-old woman from Vietnam's northern Ha Tay province has died from bird flu, according to local media. The WHO has yet to confirm the case (source: Xinhua).

Bird flu suspected in 12-year-old Indonesian
A 12-year-old Indonesian girl has been admitted to hospital with suspected bird flu in the Indonesian town of Sukabumi, around 100 km southeast of Jakarta (source: Xinhua).

India quarantines 51 people involved in bird flu control
India has quarantined 51 people involved in culling poultry, sanitising farms and monitoring human health following an outbreak of bird flu in the state of Manipur (source: Reuters).

WHO: Developing countries struggling with poultry H5N1
The number of worldwide cases of bird flu in humans has stabilised, but several developing countries are having trouble controlling the virus in poultry, according to a WHO official (source: Agence France Presse).

Meeting looks into role of space technology in bird flu fight
Space technology could be used to track migratory birds in the fight against bird flu. Sixty experts from 20 countries met in Bangkok at a meeting hosted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to discuss the prospect (source: UN).

Australia donates US$6.7 million to Asian bird flu fight
The Australian government has pledged US$6.7 million to help the poorest countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam — raise public awareness of bird flu (source: ABC).

Countries meet to resolve bird flu sample crisis
Representatives of 24 countries met in Singapore to work towards solving bird flu virus sharing problems. The five day meeting was sponsored by the WHO and involved countries from each of the WHO's six regions (source: CIDRAP)

23 – 29 July 2007

Bangladesh gets US$16 million for bird flu fight
The International Development Association, part of the World Bank, will provide Bangladesh with US$16 million to fight bird flu (source: Reuters).

India confirms H5N1 outbreak
India has confirmed an outbreak of the H5N1 virus in poultry on a farm in Manipur state, on the border with Myanmar. It is the first outbreak in the country for almost a year (source: Reuters).

H5N1 mutation: more than a winter threat
The H5N1 virus could mix with human influenza viruses and gain the ability to jump from human to human at different times of the year and not just during winter as previously thought, say researchers (source: CIDRAP).

Vietnam to trial human bird flu vaccine
A Vietnamese human bird flu vaccine will begin clinical trials in August, according to Vietnam's Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology. The vaccine will be tested on 600 volunteers and should cost US$1.9 per dose if approved (source: Thanh Nien News).

16–22 July 2007

Egyptian woman tests positive for bird flu
A 25-year-old woman from the province of Damietta, northern Egypt, has tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the WHO has confirmed. It marks Egypt's 38th bird flu case (source: Reuters).

Mali offers one million doses of bird flu vaccine to Togo
The Mali-based International Epizootic Office has offered Togo one million doses of bird flu vaccine following an outbreak of the disease in Togo in June (source: African Press Agency).

Cuba sets up bird flu monitoring system
Cuba has established a bird flu detection and control system and trained personnel to respond in the event of a bird flu epidemic, according to the country's health ministry (source: Xinhua).

Asian countries learn to tackle bird flu in healthcare settings
Southeast Asian countries have taken part in a five-day bird flu workshop in Singapore, jointly organised with France. Participants from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam learned how to develop and execute a plan to manage bird flu outbreaks in healthcare settings (source: Xinhua)

Pandemic risk of H5N1 strains measured with ferrets
Some strains of the H5N1 virus transfer between mammals more easily than others, scientists have found. Researchers used a ferret model to investigate the spread of different H5N1 samples and assess their potential to cause a pandemic (source: Science Daily).

9 – 15 July 2007

WHO confirms Indonesian death
The WHO has confirmed that the death of a six-year-old girl from Indonesia's Banten province was due to H5N1 bird flu (source: WHO).

Gates Foundation to fund bird flu vaccination
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is looking for ways to fund bird flu vaccinations in developing countries. The charity has been in talks with the WHO, vaccine manufacturers and healthcare regulators (source: Reuters).

Vietnamese poultry vaccine to be used in 2008
Vietnam plans to use locally-produced vaccines in its poultry vaccination programme from June 2008, according to the Central Veterinary Diagnosis Centre (source: VietNamNet Bridge).

Uganda requests US$17 million for bird flu fight
The Ugandan government has asked the World Bank for US$17 million to fund a national programme for bird and human flu, which has been without funding since February 2006 (source: New Vision Online).

FAO preps Cambodia vets for bird flu
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization is training veterinarians and rapid response teams in 24 Cambodian provinces to identify and effectively respond to bird flu outbreaks (source: Xinhua).

Thailand launches influenza campaign
Thailand's public health minister has launched an influenza vaccination campaign with 300,000 doses of vaccine for at-risk groups. Local health officials have also been warned to be vigilant for influenza and bird flu (source: Thai News Agency).

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