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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.

Sunday 10 September 2006

H5N1 replicates more than common flu
The H5N1 virus replicates far more aggressively in people than common human flu viruses and provokes an unusually high immune response, a study of patients in Vietnam has found (Source: Reuters).

American lab regrets delay in transfer of flu virus samples
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it regrets recent delays in transferring avian influenza virus samples from China's Ministry of Agriculture, adding that procedures for doing so are now in place (Source: Xinhua).

Saturday 9 September 2006

Thailand to train Egypt on bird flu
Thailand's Public Health Ministry will train Egyptian doctors and researchers to control bird flu and produce anti-viral medicines (Source: Thai News Agency).

Vietnam prepared for bird flu return
Vietnam's Ministry of Health has drafted a national action plan to prevent a relapse of human bird flu and has earmarked more than US$62 million for facilities to prevent and control the epidemic (Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong).

Friday 8 September 2006

China blames US lab for delay in sharing H5N1 samples
China, which has not shared bird flu virus samples with foreign experts since 2004, has blamed the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for the delay, saying it had not put in place import procedures (Source: Reuters).

WHO confirms three more H5N1 cases in Indonesia
The WHO confirmed three more cases of H5N1 in Indonesia: an eight-year-old girl from Tangerang and a 45-year-old man from Central Java, both of whom died in 2005, and a 14-year-old girl from South Sulawesi who died in June this year (Source: CIDRAP).

Cairo confirms fresh cases of bird flu
Egypt uncovered new cases of bird flu in poultry in the southern province of Sohag and the coastal province of Damietta, the health ministry said (Source: Associated Press).

Thursday 7 September 2006

Swans fitted with transmitters in bird flu fight
An international team of scientists has outfitted ten swans with super-light Teflon backpacks containing solar-powered GPS satellite transmitters to help them understand how wild birds may be involved in spreading bird flu (Source: Reuters).

Method to expand output of bird flu vaccine lauded
A new technique developed by Chinese researchers for making a human vaccine against H5N1 produces a vaccine effective at very low doses, by using a slightly altered whole bird flu virus and then enhancing its effect with an adjuvant (Source: International Herald Tribune).

Wednesday 6 September 2006

Vietnam to vaccinate white-winged ducks against bird flu 
Vietnam will decide whether to vaccinate its 10 million population of white-winged ducks against bird flu depending on the results of a trial of an Italian vaccine, local media reported (Source: Xinhua).

Myanmar declares victory over bird flu 
Myanmar has declared victory over bird flu with no new outbreaks of the deadly virus detected since late April, official media reported (Source: Reuters).

Indonesia to produce millions of doses of Tamiflu
Indonesia will produce 5 million tablets of tamiflu this year and conduct a massive vaccination of poultry to combat avian influenza, senior officials said (Source: Xinhua).

Côte d'Ivoire lifts poultry import ban
The Ivorian government announced the end of a ban on poultry imports that it imposed in May after bird flu was discovered near Abidjan, the commercial capital (Source: AFP).

Tuesday 5 September 2006

China setting down rules to share bird flu samples
China has not provided international health agencies with samples of bird flu viruses found in the country since 2004, but is putting in place procedures that conform to WHO standards to do so, a senior official said (Source: Reuters).

China vaccinates 4.88 billion domestic fowls to combat bird flu
China had vaccinated 4.88 billion domestic fowls by the end of June this year in a bid to prevent and control the spread of bird flu, said a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture (Source: Xinhua).

New bird flu outbreak hits Cambodian ducks
A new bird flu outbreak has been found in ducks in the Bateay district of eastern Cambodia where the virus re-emerged last month killing 700 birds last week, officials said (Source: Reuters).

Indonesia to vaccinate 300 million birds against H5N1
Indonesia plans to begin vaccinating about 300 million poultry next month against bird flu, an official said (Source: Reuters).

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