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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 17 September 2006

East Asia 'greatest bird flu concern', say experts
World Bank and UN experts said Africa lacks access to the same level of resources as East Asia and Eastern Europe, but said the greatest worries still were in East Asia (Source: Associated Press).

Bird flu pandemic could cost US$2 trillion: World Bank
A flu pandemic could cost the global economy up to US$2 trillion, the World Bank said, sharply raising earlier estimates (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu fighters await US$670 million from donors
The World Bank said it is still awaiting US$670 million promised by donor countries and organisations for a global effort to fight bird flu (Source: Bloomberg).

Thai crisis 'may have increased bird flu'
Thailand's continuing political crisis may have contributed to a resurgence of bird flu in the country, said the UN (Source: Financial Times).

Reports of missed bird flu raise questions
Recent reports from South Korea and Indonesia of mild human cases of H5N1 infection that initially went undetected have again raised questions about whether the disease's high death rate is inflated because mild cases are being missed (Source: Canadian Press).

Saturday 16 September 2006

International Red Cross praises Vietnam's bird flu control
Vietnam's success in fighting bird flu has set an example for other countries, said an official at International Federation of Red Cross (Source: VNA).

Friday 15 September 2006

South Korea says five more infected with bird flu in 2003-04
After recently completing tests on old samples, South Korean health officials say five people were infected by H5N1 two years ago but had no symptoms (Source: Associated Foreign Press).

Pakistan's poultry industry suffers losses due to bird flu 
Pakistan has said that its poultry industry suffered estimated losses of US$133-167 million because of bird flu over the past year (Source: Xinhua).

UN says bird flu aid to Indonesia too slow
The UN bird flu coordinator urged donors to make good on their pledges to help Indonesia fight bird flu, saying he was frustrated by the slow flow of funds (Source: Reuters).

Vietnam health official steals US$65,000 from bird flu fund
The top health official in a Vietnamese province embezzled public funds of over US$65,100 that were earmarked for an anti-bird flu campaign two years ago, police said (Source: Thanh Nien News).

Thursday 14 September 2006

Bird flu watch in Thai provinces suspended
With no new bird flu outbreak reported in the last 21 days, the fourth round of bird flu monitoring imposed in Thailand's two worst-hit provinces of Phichit and Nakhon Phanom has been suspended (Source: Xinhua).

WHO confirms two Indonesian bird flu cases
The WHO retrospectively recognised a further two cases of bird flu in Indonesia, including one in which human-to-human transmission between siblings could not be ruled out (Source: Reuters).

Vietnam to use locally-made bird flu vaccine in poultry by early 2007
Vietnam is expected to use a locally produced bird flu vaccine for poultry by early next year instead of importing it from China (Source: VNS).

Wednesday 13 September 2006

Bird flu cases reported in southern Sudan 
Authorities in Sudan have found the H5N1 bird flu virus in chickens in the south of the country, a local official said (Source: Reuters).

Ugandan government issues bird flu alert 
The Ugandan government has directed district health and veterinary officers in northern Uganda bordering southern Sudan to be on high alert after an outbreak was confirmed in neighbouring southern Sudan (Source: Xinhua).

Indonesia records 49th death from bird flu
A five-year-old Indonesian boy who died in March had bird flu, a health official said, raising the country's death toll from the virus to 49 (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 12 September 2006

Vaccines against bird flu in humans show promise
Promising results from research teams in China and the US raise hopes of producing a vaccine to protect humans from H5N1 (Source: SciDev.Net).

Vietnam to check air passengers for bird flu
International visitors arriving at Ho Chi Minh City airport will have their body temperatures taken as a precaution against bird flu (Source: Thanh Nien News).

Monday 11 September 2006

Improved test can detect avian or seasonal flu
An updated diagnostic test can simultaneously detect whether someone is suffering from an H5 strain of bird flu or seasonal influenza, its developer said (Source: Reuters).

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