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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 13 February 2006


Indonesia confirms 26th human case of bird flu
Indonesia says the WHO has confirmed the country's 26th human case of bird flu, while a minister says outbreaks in poultry must be reported faster (Source: Reuters).

Iraqi doctors investigating possible bird flu cases
Iraqi doctors are investigating six suspected cases of bird flu in southern Iraq, including one in which a 25-year-old fisherman died after contact with birds he was keeping (Source: New York Times).

Sunday 12 February 2006

Bird flu found in Italy, Greece, Bulgaria
Italy and Greece announce they have detected the H5N1 virus in dead swans; the European Union says the virus was also found in swans in Bulgaria (Source: Associated Press).

WHO confirms two bird flu deaths in Indonesia
The WHO confirms two more human deaths from bird flu in Indonesia, bringing the country's death toll from the virus to 18 (Source: Voice of America).

Benin introduces emergency measures against bird flu
The government has announced a plan to control the possible spread of bird flu from neighbouring Nigeria (Source: Angola Press).

Nigeria ignores bird flu precautions
Nigeria ignored international recommendations for stopping bird flu, keeping poultry markets open and letting people move birds around most of the country unrestricted (Source: Associated Press).

Disease-hit Africa slow to grasp bird flu threat
Reuters reports that, for many in Africa, the threat of bird flu is just another addition to a list of problems that include malaria, typhoid, AIDS and corruption (Source: Reuters).

Saturday 11 February 2006

Nigeria seeks suspected human bird flu cases
Nigeria is rushing to discover whether the bird flu virus has infected any people (Source: Reuters).

UN says H5N1 only two mutations away from more deadly form
The bird flu virus is only two mutations away from a form that can spread easily among people, said a UN official in an interview published in Portugal (Source: Xinhua).

Arab Maghreb Union discusses joint action against bird flu
Delegates from Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia agree to work together on a common strategy to monitor migratory birds (Source: Xinhua).

Friday 10 February 2006

China announces 8th human bird flu death
A woman in central China's Hunan province has died of bird flu, bringing the country's death toll from the disease to eight, says the Ministry of Health (Source: Xinhua).

India launches generic bird flu drug
Pharmaceutical company Cipla will launch a generic version of the bird flu drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir) for sale in 49 countries this month (Source: Business Standard).

Azerbaijan confirms bird flu in wild birds
Azerbaijan's health ministry says the H5N1 strain of bird flu had been found in wild birds on the Caspian Sea coast (Source: Xinhua).

Thursday 9 February 2006

Head of WHO urges Africa to communicate bird flu risk
The director general of the WHO says the most important reaction to the arrival of bird flu in Africa is to raise public awareness of the risk of infection (Source: WHO).
Bird flu grips Nigerian press

BBC Online reports on the responses, within Nigeria, to the news of an H5N1 outbreak there (Source: BBC Online).

Nigerian farmer talks about bird flu outbreak
A poultry farmer in northern Nigeria tells BBC Online about his fears following the announcement that an outbreak of H5N1 had hit a neighbouring farm (Source: BBC Online).

Nigeria plans huge bird flu cull
Nigeria will kill all poultry at farms where strange deaths have occurred in a bid to contain bird flu (Source: BBC Online).

Local tests show two Indonesian women have bird flu
Two Indonesian women from an area just east of the capital are in hospital after local tests showed they had the H5N1 bird flu virus (Source: Reuters).

China: 35 in bird flu-hit area under medical observation
A group of 35 poultry farm workers who had close contact with some of the 15,000 birds that died of suspected bird flu in the north of China are under medical observation (Source: Xinhua).

South Africa to host a bird flu test lab for Africa
A South African veterinary institute is to conduct tests on bird samples from Kenya, Malawi and Sudan as part of international efforts to track the spread of bird flu (Source: Mail and Guardian).

West African countries brace against bird flu
Following news of an outbreak of H5N1 in Nigeria, West African countries are taking measures to prevent the virus spreading (Source: Voice of America).

Wednesday 8 February 2006

Nigeria reports Africa's first H5N1 bird flu outbreak
The H5N1 bird flu virus has been detected in northern Nigeria, making it the first African country with a confirmed outbreak (Source: SciDev.Net).

Suspected bird flu case in southern Iraq

Laboratory tests are to be carried out on blood samples from a 13-year-old boy from the southern city of Ammarah, who died from bird flu-like symptoms on 5 February (Source: Reuters).

Four bird flu vaccine prototypes created in Russia
Microgen, a Russian company, has created four vaccine prototypes against bird flu, says the company's director (Source: Monsters and Critics).

China reports bird flu outbreak, new human case
China reported a fresh outbreak of bird flu on a chicken farm in the northern province of Shanxi on Wednesday and also said another person was being treated for the virus in the east of the country (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 7 February 2006

Single vaccine 'not enough' to control bird flu
Bird flu's rapid evolution into different forms means a single vaccine will not be enough to tackle a potential human flu pandemic, say researchers (Source: SciDev.Net).

Monday 6 February 2006

President Bush seeks US$2.6 billion to fight bird flu

Of this, US$214 million is to improve the monitoring of outbreaks abroad; large sums will also go to vaccine research (Source: Associated Press).

Iraqi farmers seek bird flu compensation
Iraq has reported an outbreak of bird flu among poultry in Sulaimaniya, the province where a teenager died from the disease last month, and farmers there are seeking compensation for the culling of their poultry (Source: Reuters).

Russian company prepares to test bird flu vaccine on humans
A Russian pharmaceutical company is preparing to test its bird flu vaccine on 20 volunteers (Source: Mosnews).

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