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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.

Tuesday 18 April 2006

Deadly bird flu spreads to Sudan
Sudanese officials have reported the country's first outbreak of H5N1 (Source: BBC Online).

Monday 17 April 2006

Ill-equipped South Asia looks resigned to bird flu
Bird flu is spreading across Afghanistan, India, Myanmar and Pakistan looks almost certain to remain a long-term menace, say WHO officials (Source: Reuters).

Sunday 16 April 2006

No bird flu in Côte d'Ivoire, say local tests
According to tests done in Côte d'Ivoire, chickens found dead in the Bondoukou region of the country were not infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus (Source: Xinhua).

UN bird flu expert praises Thailand, Vietnam
Thailand and Vietnam are doing "excellent work" preparing for a possible flu pandemic, paying attention to the threat at the highest levels of government and helping local communities get ready, the UN bird flu coordinator said on Monday (Source: Reuters). 

Saturday 15 April 2006

Danish man tests positive for H5N1
A 25-year-old Dane tested positive for bird flu in a local clinic; if the news were confirmed, this would be the first human case of bird flu in the country (Source: RNZ).

Friday 14 April 2006

Indonesia 'is a bird flu time bomb', says OIE
The director of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) called Indonesia an avian flu "time bomb" because of its weak response to poultry outbreaks, saying the Indonesian government should step up control efforts (Source: CIDRAP).

Fourth person dies of bird flu in Egypt
Egypt announced a fourth person died of bird flu; the WHO had confirmed that the 18-year-old girl from Minufiya was infected with H5N1 on Thursday (Source: Xinhua).

Disinfectant kills H5N1, say Vietnamese scientists
The antimicrobial solution Anolyte can be safely used as a disinfectant agent in breeding farms say scientists from the Veterinary Diagnosis Centre and the Institute of Environmental Technology (Source: Vietnam News Agency).

Full report of UN forum on bird flu and migratory birds
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has prepared a full report of the 'Scientific seminar on avian influenza, the environment and migratory birds', held at UN offices in Nairobi, Kenya on 10-11 April (Source: IISD).

Thursday 13 April 2006

Avian influenza in Egypt – WHO update
The WHO confirmed Egypt's 12th case of human infection with H5N1; of the 12 cases, three have died, four remain hospitalised, and five patients have fully recovered and been allowed to leave hospital. (Source: WHO).

Smugglers undercut fight against bird flu
There is increasing evidence that the international trade in smuggled poultry products is making a substantial contribution to the spread of the H5N1 virus (Source: International Herald Tribune).

Cats 'do not appear to play a role' in the spread of H5N1 – OIE, FAO
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organization confirm that H5N1 is being spread essentially by domestic and wild birds: cats do not appear to play any 'discernable role' (Source: OIE and FAO joint statement).

Uganda: 'ready for bird flu'
Uganda's commissioner for livestock said Uganda is ready to counter any outbreak of H5N1; the government has bought testing machines and protective gear for all district veterinary officers, and will start radio broadcasts next week to inform the public of the threats posed by the disease (Source: New Vision).

Wednesday 12 April 2006

Azeri bird flu patient released from hospital today
Two teenage girls have recovered from bird flu in Azerbaijan, according to the World Health Organization: a 15-year-old and her 17-year-old cousin (Source: Azeri-Press Information Agency).

Egypt: government launches anti-bird flu training programme
The Egyptian government launched a training programme this week to prepare professionals and volunteers involved in combating the spread of H5N1 (Source: Reuters).

Nine poultry farmers commit suicide in flu-hit India
Nine poultry farmers in India have killed themselves after bird flu hit the country's US$7.8 billion poultry industry; losses in the past two months have reached US$2.2 billion, an industry group said (Source: Reuters).

Cambodian ostracised for reporting bird flu
A mother in Cambodia was ostracised by fellow villagers after her daughter's death from bird flu drew government culling teams but no compensation (Source: Reuters).

UN warns of bird flu complacency
A dangerous complacency about bird flu is spreading in Asia because it has not killed as many people as initially feared, said a senior UN official (Source: Economic Times).

Nigerian government axes 76 poultry farms for non-compliance
The Kaduna State Government yesterday said 76 poultry farms will be closed down because they had not followed guidelines for the proper disposal of chicken faeces, feathers and other waste (Source: This Day).

Tuesday 11 April 2006

Indonesia confirms new human bird flu case
Test results from a World Health Organization-affiliated laboratory in Hong Kong have confirmed that a 23-year-old man has bird flu, bringing the total number of infections to 31 (Source: Reuters).

Zanzibar probes chicken deaths for possible bird flu
Authorities on Tanzania's semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago said they were investigating the mysterious deaths of chickens for a possible outbreak of bird flu (Source: Today Online).

Avian influenza in Azerbaijan – WHO update
Tests by a WHO collaborating laboratory in the United Kingdom have shown that a 17-year-old girl who developed flu symptoms on 11 March was infected with H5N1, bringing the total number of human infections in Azerbaijan to eight (Source: WHO).

Restoring wetlands key to curbing bird flu – report
Restoring wetlands and clearing poultry farms from migratory flyways could help curb the spread of bird flu by stopping wild birds from mixing with domestic fowl, says a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (Source: Reuters).

Monday 10 April 2006

Bird flu 'may have infected people in West Africa'
Weak health systems in West Africa could be failing to detect human cases of H5N1 infection, a WHO official has said (Source: Reuters).

No evidence bird flu killed Afghan children – UN
Tests on birds in a remote Afghan mountain village where three children recently died found no evidence of bird flu, the UN has said (Source: Reuters).

WHO to declare Jordan free of avian flu
The WHO is expected to pronounce Jordan free of avian flu in the coming days, following the complete recovery of a 31-year-old Egyptian labourer who tested positive in Jordan early this month (Source: Reuters).

Bird-flu experts question advice on eating poultry
Scientists dispute official advice that says people cannot be infected with H5N1 by eating chickens or eggs (Source: Nature).

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