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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 27 November

South Korea finds second outbreak of bird flu in poultry
South Korea has reported a new poultry outbreak of bird flu in Sosan, South Chungchong Province, 140 kilometres north of Iksan, where poultry infected with the H5N1 virus were detected last week (Source: the Korea Times).

South Korea culls 236,000 poultry after new outbreak
South Korea aims to cull 236,000 poultry by the end of the week around Iksan, 250 kilometres south of Seoul, where a new outbreak of bird flu was found in poultry last week (Source: BBC Online).

Africa advised to be alert to bird flu
African countries have been advised to be on high alert for an outbreak of the disease, said an African Union commissioner who urged Africa to rally financial support for bird flu preparedness (Source: The Guardian).

New bird flu research centre in South India
A bird flu research centre will be set up at Namakkal in South India, one of the biggest poultry production centres in the country, said a Tamil Nadu official (Source: Chennai Online).
Nigerian government urged to increase compensation to poultry farmers
An official from the Kano State Ministry of Agriculture appealed to the federal government to increase the compensation paid to farmers whose birds have been culled (Source: Xinhua). 

Chan calls for transparency over bird flu
Margaret Chan, who will take office as director general of the WHO in January 2007, has asked all member countries to be open about their efforts to fight bird flu (Source: The Standard).

New bird flu drug is more powerful than Tamiflu
Studies in the United States show that a new bird flu drug, Peramivir, which could be marketed within two years if further clinical trials are successful, should be more powerful and easier to give to patients than either Tamiflu or Relenza, the two existing drugs for H5N1 (Source: Times Online).

Friday 24 November

Isolated case of bird flu in Côte d'Ivoire
An isolated case of bird flu in turkeys has been found in a village near Abidjan, Côte D'Ivoire, the first outbreak in the country in six months (Source: The Australian).

Thursday 23 November

Experts stress correct use of respirators against flu
Health workers should be trained in the correct use of artificial ventilators for patients suffering with bird flu, said experts at a conference in Vietnam (Source: Vietnam News Service). 

WHO urges Africa to back bird flu fight
African nations must make early investments to detect and wipe out the bird flu virus in poultry and wild birds, said the WHO (Source: Reuters). 

Wednesday 22 November

Bird flu tests slow and flawed
Available testing methods for bird flu — which is hard to diagnose partly because of its range of symptoms — are too often inaccurate and slow, say doctors in two reports from Indonesia and Turkey published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 21 November

Egypt culls bird flu infected fowls in Alexandria
Household poultry have tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus in Alexandria and have been culled, said the government (Source: Xinhua).

Vietnam to complete its bird flu vaccination campaign
Vietnam has vaccinated 163.4 million birds and should complete its second round of vaccinations by the end of the month (Source: Xinhua). 

Israel will help Palestinian vets prepare for bird flu
Palestinian veterinarians will train in Israel and receive logistical support to fight avian flu, including access to Israeli laboratories to test samples, said Israeli agriculture officials (Source: the Jerusalem Post).

Monday 20 November

Russia opens huge bird flu lab
Russia has opened one of the world's biggest laboratories for diagnosing bird flu just outside Novosibirsk, which will test samples supplied from Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia (Source: Itar-Tass).

Sudan moves to contain suspected avian flu in Juba
Health teams have killed thousands of domestic poultry in and around Juba, southern Sudan, in an attempt to contain an outbreak reported several months ago (Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks).

Thailand to disinfect poultry farms when floods recede
Thai authorities have ordered provinces to disinfect poultry farms, especially those located in flood-hit provinces, to prevent further outbreaks of bird flu during the rainy season (Source: Thai News Agency).

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