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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.

Saturday 7 October 2006

Tests confirm mild bird flu in United States
Tests have confirmed that wild ducks in Montana were infected with the mild H5N3 strain of bird flu, said US officials (Source: Reuters).

Nigeria suspends compensation to farmers
The government of Nigeria has stopped paying compensation to poultry farmers affected by bird flu, despite US$400,000 worth of payments yet to be made (Source: The Tide Online).

China warns of seasonal bird flu outbreaks
China has asked local authorities to be on guard against a resurgence of bird flu with the onset of the autumn migration season (Source: Associated Foreign Press).

Friday 6 October 2006

Indonesia reports H5N1 in healthy chickens
Indonesian officials told local media that some apparently healthy chickens showed evidence of H5N1 virus infection, which could complicate efforts to control bird flu (Source: CIDRAP).

Vietnam health authority under probe for 'emergency' purchase
Police in Vietnam are investigating a provincial health agency that spent US$22,687 on medical equipment to tackle bird flu but, 17 months later, has still not used the purchases (Source: Thanh Nien News).

Thailand launches anti-bird flu campaign in schools
Thailand is launching a campaign to teach children in its 40,000 schools how to avoid bird flu by frequent hand washing, early reporting of sick or dead birds, and safe ways to cook poultry (Source: Associated Foreign Press).

Thursday 5 October 2006

Indonesia's bird flu variant shows no major changes
The bird flu virus in Indonesia has not mutated to become more contagious to people this year, the country's agriculture ministry said, following analysis of 49 samples from birds on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali (Source: Bloomberg).

Indonesia to help develop rapid bird flu test
The Indonesian government has teamed up with a Singaporean firm to develop a rapid test for bird flu in humans, the health minister said (Source: Reuters).

Wednesday 4 October 2006

Bird flu vaccine shows good results in early trial
Preliminary results from an early clinical trial in humans of a vaccine against H5N1 suggest the vaccine is safe, well tolerated and could prove effective against divergent strains of the virus (Source: Reuters).

Molecule blocks flu infection, US researchers say
Tests on mice showed that a fragment of a human protein blocked influenza viruses — including bird flu — from attaching to and infecting cells, said US researchers (Source: Reuters).

China reports second bird flu outbreak in a week
An outbreak of bird flu has killed 1,000 poultry in a village in near Yinchuan in China's northwest, state television reported (Source: Reuters).

World Bank to give Vietnam US$35 million to fight bird flu
The World Bank will give Vietnam US$35 million to strengthen its campaign against bird flu, mainly by improving health workers' ability to diagnose and treat infections, and carry out urgent preventive measures in high risk areas (Source: Thanh Nien News).

Cholesterol drugs 'could beat bird flu'
Low-cost drugs used to treat high cholesterol levels could be used to treat people infected with H5N1 according to three flu experts (Source: Daily Mail).

Tuesday 3 October 2006

WHO confirms Indonesia's 69th human case of bird flu
The WHO has confirmed H5N1 infection in a 21-year-old woman from East Java Province whose 11-year-old brother died on 18 September (Source: WHO).

Monday 2 October 2006

Bird flu outbreak in N. China under control
An outbreak of bird flu in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region last week is now under control and has not led to human cases, said a regional government spokesperson (Source: Xinhua).