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Below is a round-up 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 26 February 2007

Laos suspects first human case of bird flu
A 15-year-old girl from Dongsavath village, Vientiane may be Laos' first human case of bird flu; a foreign ministry spokesman said the girl had tested positive for H5 strain of the virus but not yet H5N1 (Source: Venetian Times).

Sunday 25 February 2007

Kuwait detects bird flu in zoo falcons
Kuwait has detected the H5N1 virus in birds from a zoo and a falcon hospital in its first outbreak since November 2005 (Source: Xinhua).

Saturday 24 February 2007

Egyptian child recovers from bird flu
A five-year-old Egyptian boy from the Nile Delta region who tested positive for bird flu has recovered following treatment with Tamiflu (Source: Reuters).

Thailand to produce cheaper anti-flu pills
Thailand will begin producing the bird flu drug oseltamivir — a cheap generic version of Tamiflu — once it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration later this month (Source: Xinhua).

Friday 23 February 2007

Bird flu outbreaks confirmed in Afghanistan flocks
The World Organisation for Animal Health has confirmed that two outbreaks of bird flu in backyard poultry in Nangarhar province and Kunar province, Afghanistan are the H5N1 strain (Source: Reuters).

US National Institutes of Health opens flu virus database
The genetic blueprints of over 2,000 human and avian influenza viruses are now available in a public database, which scientists hope will lead to new vaccines and therapies (Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy).

EU experts approve a pandemic flu vaccine
European drug regulators have approved a second bird flu vaccine for humans to use during an outbreak of pandemic flu, produced by Novartis AG (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 22 February 2007

Factory farms fuelling avian flu, but don't blame the farmers
UN efforts to control the spread of avian flu in the developing world could actually do more harm than good, warns a report, adding that large-scale industrial farms near to big cities are chiefly responsible for bird flu's spread (Source: OneWorld).

Egypt announces US$450 million vaccination campaign
Egypt will embark on a new nationwide campaign to vaccinate poultry against bird flu following a second wave of H5N1 outbreaks (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 20 February 2007

Nigeria must do more to stem bird flu, says FAO
Nigeria must step up farm controls to stem the spread of bird flu, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, urging consumers to take precautions against infection (Source: Reuters).

Laos confirms bird flu outbreak in poultry
A fresh outbreak of H5N1 has been confirmed in poultry at two farms near Vientiane (Source: Reuters).