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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.

Monday 24 October 2005

Thailand calls on 900,000 bird flu volunteers
About 900,000 public health volunteers have been asked to look out for suspected human cases of bird flu in Thailand (Source: Xinhuanet).

FAO to help Indonesia create bird flu 'task force'
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization is assembling a 'task force' of health and veterinary specialists to help Indonesia face bird flu (Source: FAO).

South American parrot in UK quarantine died from H5N1
A parrot from Suriname that died in UK quarantine from the H5N1 virus probably picked up the virus from other birds in quarantine (Source: BBC Online).

Friday 21 October 2005

Avian flu on the wing: are wild birds to blame?
The arguments for and against wild birds spreading the H5N1 avian flu virus (Source: Science)

Thursday 20 October 2005

Bird flu kills Thai man
The H5N1 virus has killed a 48-year-old man in Thailand (Source: Reuters)

Bird flu 'is heading for Africa and Middle East'
Migrating birds could carry bird flu to Africa and the Middle East within weeks according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (Source: SciDev.Net).

Bird experts warn against culling wild birds
BirdLife International warns that culling wild birds to control avian influenza could help the virus spread more easily (Source: ENS)

Israel and Jordan to cooperate on H5N1 surveillance
Israeli and Jordanian agriculture officials met to discuss joint preparations for the arrival of bird flu in their region (Source:

Hong Kong to close border if H5N1 mutates in China
Hong Kong's health minister said the city would close its border with mainland China if H5N1 evolves the ability to spread from person-to-person there (Source: Reuters).

Taiwan confirms first case of bird flu
Taiwan finds H5N1 in birds being smuggled from China (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 19 October 2005

H5N1 bird flu confirmed in Russia
Russia confirms the presence of the H5N1 virus in its chickens (Source: CNN).

H5N1 outbreak in Inner Mongolia
H5N1 has killed 2,600 poultry at a farm in Inner Mongolia (Source: BBC Online)

Lab tests confirm H5N1 in new Romanian samples
The H5N1 virus was confirmed in samples from waterfowl found dead in Romania (Source: Reuters).

Hungarian bird flu vaccine shows promise
Hungary's health minister says a vaccine appears to be effective against H5N1 in early tests (Source: BBC Online).

Taiwan 'left out' of bird flu conference
Taiwanese officials are concerned that they are being excluded from an international meeting on bird flu (Source: Embassy)

Tuesday 18 October 2005

Kenya sets up bird flu surveillance network
The Kenya Medical Research Institute will coordinate a bird flu surveillance network set up this week (Source: Daily Nation).

UK-Asia collaboration on bird flu
British scientists will meet with counterparts in China and Vietnam to discuss research on bird flu (Source: Taipei Times).

More Tamiflu on the way, says drug giant
The maker of the patented drug Tamiflu, which health experts believe could help tackle a flu pandemic, says it will let other companies make it to boost global supplies (Source: SciDev.Net)

Thailand to start bird flu vaccine trials in 2006
Thai health officials say human trials of a vaccine against the H5N1 virus will begin next year (Source: Reuters).

Monday 17 October 2005

Tamiflu-resistant bird flu found in Vietnam
Researchers say a bird flu strain found in Vietnam can resist the only drug being stockpiled by health authorities to tackle a potential flu pandemic (Source: SciDev.Net).

US health official pledges bird flu aid to Asia
Touring of Asian countries affected by bird flu, the top US health official has promised financial help to combat the disease (Source: Voice of America).

Rush to register flu drug in South Africa
South Africa's health authorities are rushing to register the flu drug Tamiflu for use in the country (Source: Xinhua).

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