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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 4 December 2006

Bird flu costs world poultry industry US$2 billion
The world's poultry industry has lost an estimated US$2 billion to bird flu between September 2005 and September 2006, said the head of Indonesia's bird flu control commission (Source: Xinhua). 

Pandemic bird flu vaccine would be slow to arrive
It would take at least four months, and up to a year, before a bird flu vaccine could be produced and delivered to people in the event of a pandemic, a vaccine research forum heard (Source: Bernama news).

Sunday 3 December 2006

Farmers must get prompt compensation, says World Bank
Farmers whose birds are culled to control avian flu should receive compensation within 24 hours, to encourage early reports of the disease, says World Bank report (Source: Associated Press). 

Saturday 2 December 2006

China promises to share bird flu samples faster
China has promised to share bird flu samples more quickly, after worries secrecy  was obstructing international efforts to control the virus (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 30 November 2006

South Korea to cull more than half a million birds
South Korea confirmed that it has an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, and aims to cull more than half a million birds to prevent further spread of the virus, officials said (Source: Reuters).

China bans live poultry markets in cities
China has banned the construction of live-poultry markets in urban areas in response to an outbreak of bird flu in South Korea (Source: Xinhua/Shanghai Daily). 

Three more Egyptians suspected of having bird flu
A 25-year old mother, her 12-year old son and 10-year old daughter from north Egypt's Suhaj governate are suspected of having the H5N1 strain of bird flu, said a veterinary official (Source: Associated Foreign Press).

Wednesday 29 November 2006

Six provinces in China on high alert for bird flu
China has put the provinces of Heilogjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhjiang on high alert following the outbreak of bird flu in South Korea, ordering them to strengthen their bird flu prevention and control work (Source: China Daily).

WHO releases guidelines on how to investigate H5N1 cases
The WHO has released guidelines for tackling human cases of the H5N1 in order to shed more light on the virus and improve detection to prevent a pandemic (Source: CIDRAP).
Full WHO report

Bird flu should not overshadow TB, warns Indonesia
Indonesia's health minister warned that the battle against bird flu should not eclipse the fight against tuberculosis, which kills someone every four minutes in the country (Source: Reuters). 

Tuesday 28 November 2006

Inform and assist poultry farmers, says Nigerian official
A Nigerian official stressed the need to educate poultry farmers on curtailing the spread of bird flu, and urged the government to compensate for culling poultry (Source: The Tide Online).

Vietnam and Hong Kong will research cheap human bird flu test
Vietnam and Hong Kong will start joint research into a new, cheap and manufactured test for bird flu in humans (Source: Thanh Nien News).

Burundi adopts plan against bird flu
A senior Burundian health official said the new US$6 million national plan for keeping the country free of bird flu would try to prevent migratory birds bringing the disease to the country (Source: IRIN).

Resistance to Tamiflu drug not growing, says Roche
The Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche says there has been no increase in resistance to the bird flu drug Tamiflu in patients infected with H5N1 virus (Source: MarketWatch).

Indonesian woman dies from bird flu
A 35-year-old Indonesian woman from Tangerang, west Jakarta, died today after three weeks of treatment, becoming Indonesia's 57th victim of the H5N1 virus (CIDRAP News).

Bird flu fight to cost another billion dollars, says UN
Up to US$1.3 billion more is needed to fight bird flu — for everything from disinfectants to compensation for culled birds — of which at least US$500 million is destined to Africa, said experts from the World Bank and the UN (Source: Reuters). 

Uganda bans poultry transport on passenger vehicles
Uganda has banned the transport of poultry on passenger vehicles as part of measures to control an outbreak of bird flu reported last week in southern Sudan, 180 kilometres from the Ugandan border (Source: New Vision). 

Monday 27 November 2006

South Korea to kill cats and dogs
South Korea has announced the extreme measure of killing cats and dogs to prevent the spread of bird flu (Source: Associated Press). 

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