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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.

Sunday 4 March 2007

Second human case of bird flu suspected in Laos
A 42-year-old woman from Vientiane province has become the first person to die from avian influenza in Laos, although tests have not yet confirmed that she had the H5N1 strain of the virus. The WHO has confirmed the country's first case of H5N1 in a 15-year-old girl from a different part of Vientiane (Source: BBC Online).

Saturday 3 March 2007

Myanmar restricts fowl movements after H5N1 outbreaks
Myanmar has banned the transport and sale of poultry in parts of the commercial capital Yangon where the deadly bird flu virus appears to be spreading (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu experts urge halt to wild bird trade
Leading virologists have urged governments to curb the trade of wild birds, which can spread the H5N1 bird flu virus (Source: Reuters).

Stockpile vaccines to assure plenty for all countries
A top WHO official has suggested that industrialised countries agree to donate a portion of their bird flu vaccines to guarantee some supply for the developing world in the event of a pandemic (Source: Associated Press).

Friday 2 March 2007

Outbreak of bird flu in Myanmar poultry
A fresh outbreak of H5N1 in poultry, first detected on 26 February in Yangon, may have spread to chickens from native crows and sparrows, says the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department of Myanmar (Source: Xinhua).

Bird flu resurfaces in southern Vietnam
The H5N1 virus has been detected in ducks in southern Vietnam, from the Mekong delta province of the Vinh Long region, more than two months since the region's last infection in poultry (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 1 March 2007

New human bird flu cases in China and Egypt
The World Health Organization has confirmed two cases of H5N1 avian influenza in a four-year-old girl from Dakahlea, Egypt, and a 44-year-old woman from Fujian province, China (Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy).

Nigeria's poor at risk from eating H5N1 poultry carcasses
As the H5N1 bird flu virus continues to spread in Nigeria, the rising price of chicken is taking a nutritional toll on the poor — some people are tempted to eat the dead carcasses regardless of the risks (Source: IRIN).

Tuesday 27 February 2007

US drug agency to approve bird flu vaccine despite doubts
The US Food and Drug Administration looks set to approve a human vaccine for H5N1 despite evidence that it only has a 45 per cent protection rate (Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy).

Monday 26 February 2007

Bird flu confirmed in chickens in northern Vietnam
Vietnam confirmed a bird flu outbreak the northern province of Hai Duong, after 70 chickens died last week; all of Vietnam's previous outbreaks have been in the south (Source: Reuters).