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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 19 February 2007

Russia confirms bird flu outbreak
Russian health officials have confirmed that several bird flu outbreaks in domestic poultry around Moscow were caused by the H5N1 strain. No human cases of bird flu have been recorded in the country (Source: Reuters).

Saturday 17 February 2007

Egyptian boy tests positive for bird flu
A five-year-old boy from the Nile Delta region has tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to government officials, and is the 22nd Egyptian to be infected. The case follows the death of a 37-year-old woman in Fayoum, late on Friday (Source: Associated Press).

Friday 16 February 2007

Bird flu vaccine closer, but production needs improvement
The World Health Organization has announced significant developments toward a vaccine against bird flu, but warned that production is still not able to meet demand should a pandemic occur (Source: Reuters).

Indonesia to share bird flu samples again
Indonesia will start sending bird flu virus samples to the World Health Organization, after agreeing to a deal ensuring Indonesia and other developing countries have access to any vaccine produced (Source: BBC).

Mexico aims for stricter bird flu rules
Mexico is reviewing its animal health rules to reduce the risk of an H5N1 outbreak of bird flu on its poultry farms (Source: Reuters).

Thursday 15 February 2007

Indonesia wants fair deal on H5N1 vaccine
Indonesian health minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, has criticised the World Health Organization for allowing commercial drug companies to access Indonesian bird flu samples without their permission (Source: Reuters).

Tuesday 13 February 2007

Illegal poultry trade behind bird flu outbreaks
Scientists believe most of the bird flu outbreaks so far this year — including those in Nigeria and Egypt — could be traced to illegal or improper trade in poultry rather than wild migrating birds (Source: International Herald Tribune).

Philippines opens bird flu lab funded by New Zealand
A US$340,000 bird flu diagnostic laboratory has opened in the Philippines Pampanga province, funded by the New Zealand government (Source: Associated Press).

Monday 12 February 2007

Study suggests it may be possible to develop bird flu immunity
Research suggests that it may be possible for some people to develop immunity to the H5N1 virus, after studies showed that mice developed a degree of immunity to the related H1N1 virus (Source: Reuters).