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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 23 January 2006

Latest figures on bird flu infections and deaths
The WHO has confirmed that two more children have died of bird flu in Indonesia, and is awaiting test results for a 39-year-old man (Source: Reuters).

Sunday 22 January 2006

Algeria steps up measures against bird flu
Algeria will spend eight billion dinars (US$111 million) to protect itself from an outbreak of bird flu, according to state radio (Source: Reuters).

Saturday 21 January 2006

Rapid diagnostic tool for bird flu
An Italian and Singaporean team claims it has devised a diagnostic tool that can test for bird flu in 45 minutes (Source: Times of India).

China's eighth human bird flu patient recovering
A six-year-old boy said on 9 January to have bird flu is recovering, according to local hospitals (Source: Xinhua).

Friday 20 January 2006

WHO proposes plan to stop pandemic in its tracks
The WHO is planning a rapid response that could prevent a human flu pandemic (Source: Science).

Amid mayhem in Turkey, experts see new chances for research
Turkey's openness in reaction to its bird flu outbreaks has allowed specialist research teams to address questions that could benefit the international community (Source: Science).

Turkey says neighbours are hushing up bird flu
Turkey has accused neighbouring countries of covering up outbreaks of bird flu (Source: Reuters).

Thailand pledges US$2.5 million to fight bird flu
At a meeting in Beijing, Thailand pledged US$2.5 million to an international fund to fight bird flu (Source: Bangkok Post).

Thursday 19 January 2006

Bird flu mutations increase threat to people
Scientists say the bird flu virus spreading in Turkey has three distinct mutations, two of which make it better at infecting people (Source: Nature).

Bird flu fight gets US$1.9 billion boost
The international community has pledged nearly US$2 billion for efforts to tackle the threat of bird flu and the human flu pandemic it could spark (Source: SciDev.Net).

Wednesday 18 January 2006

Brazil to spend US$45m protecting poultry sector
A US$45 million plan will attempt to safeguard Brazil's large poultry sector from the threat of disease, including bird flu (Source: SciDev.Net).

Iraq investigating possible bird flu death
Iraq and the WHO are investigating whether bird flu killed a 15-year-old girl in Kurdistan, a region that is a stopover for migratory birds from Turkey (Source: Associated Press).

Fifth child death linked to bird flu in Turkey
An 11-year-old girl who died in Turkey is suspected to be the country's fifth child victim of the H5N1 bird flu virus in just two weeks (Source: Guardian Unlimited).

China announces sixth human death from bird flu
China's health ministry has announced another human death from bird flu, in Sichuan province, bringing the country's death toll from the disease to six (Source: Xinhuanet).

Tuesday 17 January 2006

Roche drug donations will go to world's poor — WHO
Drug company Roche has donated an additional two million doses of flu drug Tamiflu, which the WHO says it will reserve for the countries that cannot afford to buy them (Source: UN News Centre).

Monday 16 January 2006

UN urges bird flu vigilance in Middle East
A UN agency warns that bird flu may already have spread to Turkey's neighbouring countries and urged improved poultry surveillance across the Middle East (Source: Guardian Unlimited).

State of bird flu alert in Iraq
The authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan have declared a state of emergency following an outbreak of the deadly disease in neighbouring Turkey (Source: AKI).

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