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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 2 April 2006

World Bank approves anti-bird flu loan to Nigeria
The World Bank has approved a credit of US$50 million to support Nigeria's efforts to deal with bird flu (Source: Xinhua).

Egypt reports two more human bird flu infections
Two Egyptian sisters, aged 18 months and six years, have been infected with the bird flu virus, said the health minister (Source: Reuters).

Egypt blames bird flu recurrence on lack of compliance with instructions
The government has said that avian influenza is probably recurring among humans because some poultry farmers and bird owners fail to follow specific sanitation instructions (Source: Reuters).

Saturday 1 April 2006

Andean nations hammer out action plan on bird flu control
Health ministers from six Andean countries agreed on Friday to a joint action plan to prevent the bird flu epidemic from spreading to the region (Source: Xinhua).

Indonesian man tests positive for bird flu
A 23-year-old Indonesian man has tested positive for the bird flu virus; samples will be sent to a WHO-affiliated laboratory in Hong Kong for further tests (Source: Reuters).

Friday 31 March 2006

Poverty hinders China's fight against bird flu
Despite government warnings and education campaigns, poverty means people are still living with poultry in poor rural parts of China (Source: Reuters).

Morocco sets up observation network to check migrating birds
Morocco has set up an observation network focusing on 40 ‘humid zones’ to monitor migrating birds, which gather in large numbers in the wetland areas (Source:

Human trials for bird flu vaccine
Human trials of an experimental vaccine against the H5N1 bird flu virus, produced by GlaxoSmithKline, have begun in Belgium (Source: BBC Online).

Jordan finds first human bird flu case
Jordan reported its first human case of bird flu on Friday in a 31-year-old man who was believed to have become infected while on a holiday in Egypt, health officials said (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 30 March 2006

'Disappointing' results from US bird flu vaccine trial
A vaccine to protect people from the H5N1 bird flu virus has been shown to be partially effective, but is unlikely to be suitable for widespread use in preparing for a pandemic (Source: SciDev.Net).

Tests confirm bird flu virus in Cambodian ducks
Tests have confirmed the H5N1 bird flu virus in dead ducks found near Cambodia's border with Vietnam two weeks ago, a government minister said (Source: Reuters).

Afghans investigate 3 deaths for bird flu link
Afghan health authorities are investigating the death of three children on suspicion they might have had died of bird flu, a Public Health Ministry official said (Source: Reuters).

Azeri girl, 16, treated for suspected bird flu
Local scientists have found a strain of bird flu in a 16-year-old girl from a family in Azerbaijan that has lost three members to the H5N1 virus; samples will be sent to the United Kingdom for confirmation (Source: Reuters).

Cameroon confirms second case of H5N1
The government of Cameroon confirmed the presence of a second case of bird flu in a dead wild duck in the north of the country, the test results have been confirmed by an Italian laboratory (Source: Reuters).

Indonesia confirms 23rd human bird flu fatality
Indonesia's death toll from bird flu rose to 23 after a WHO-accredited laboratory in Hong Kong confirmed H5N1 in one-year-old girl who died on 23 March (Source: Xinhua).

Wednesday 29 March 2006

Czechs say EU lab confirms H5N1 bird flu
Tests at a laboratory in the United Kingdom have confirmed the Czech Republic's first case of H5N1 in a dead swan found last week (Source: Reuters).

H5N1 bird flu found in poultry in Baghdad
Iraq has found the H5N1 bird flu virus in poultry in Baghdad, a government spokesperson said; samples have been sent abroad for verification (Source: Reuters).

India's bird flu fight hindered by bad samples
India's efforts to contain bird flu in poultry were being hindered by spoiled blood samples, the head of the country's top animal diseases laboratory has said (Source: Reuters).

Avian influenza situation in Egypt: WHO update
The WHO has confirmed that two 30-year-old women died after being infected by H5N1; three other people have been infected: two have recovered, while an 18-year-old girl remains in hospital (Source: WHO).

Nigeria offers lab assistance to neighbours
Nigeria is set to offer the diagnostic services of its National Veterinary Research Institute to neighbouring African countries (Source: Daily Independent)

Tuesday 28 March 2006

Bird flu under control in Iraq, say WHO officials
The WHO said on Monday that avian flu infections were under control in Iraq, and that prevention programmes have achieved results (Source: Reuters).

Egyptian peasant farmers refuse bird flu cull
Poor farmers in Egypt are hiding their poultry and refusing to slaughter them, despite a state ban on the domestic fowl issued last month (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu experts to quit Azerbaijan as crisis eases
The seven experts sent by the WHO to Azerbaijan will leave this week because the outbreak of bird flu that killed five people has not spread (Source: Reuters).

Monday 27 March 2006

Bird flu vaccine made from horse serum criticised
A Chinese finding that horse serum could protect from infection with H5N1 is not a practical solution for humans, say other influenza researchers (Source: Globe and Mail).

Sweden finds mink infected with bird flu virus
Swedish veterinarians have found a mink infected with H5N1, the National Veterinary Institute has said (Source: Reuters).

Three suspected bird flu cases test negative in Cambodia
Cambodia's three suspected bird flu cases tested negative at a local hospital said a Health Ministry official (Source: Xinhua).

UN agency urges Egypt to boost bird flu education
Egypt needs to raise public awareness of how to avoid bird flu, a WHO official said (Source: Reuters).

H5N1 confirmed in wild swans in Georgia
Georgia has found the H5N1 bird flu virus in wild swans, the incident was reported on 27 February and confirmed today by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) (Source: OIE).


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