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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 11 December 2006

Quails die in third South Korean bird flu outbreak
The agriculture ministry has confirmed that some 3,000 quails have died of bird flu on a farm in North Jeolla province, south of Seoul, near the outbreaks reported last month (Source: Reuters).

Study reveals poor knowledge about bird flu in Indonesia
Despite widespread coverage of bird flu cases in the media, public knowledge about the disease is still poor in Indonesia, according to a public survey (Source: Jakarta Post).

Saturday 9 December 2006

Myanmar trains journalists to report on bird flu
More than 100 media representatives attended a training workshop to raise public awareness about bird flu in the country, stressing the role of accurate and informed reporting in fighting the disease (Source: Xinhua).

Scientists urge standard naming system for bird flu
International influenza experts meeting in Beijing, China this week called for a unified naming system for the bird flu virus to avoid confusion, following the stir caused when scientists recently named a strain of the virus after a Chinese province (Source: Xinhua). 

Friday 8 December 2006
Nigeria sets up bid flu surveillance system
Nigeria has set up a new surveillance scheme and trained 600 animal health officials to help track avian flu (Source: IRIN).

Thursday 7 December 2006

Scientists find protein that can help stop bird flu virus
Scientists have found a protein in the bird flu virus that incapacitates the virus when modified, offering a possible target for developing new drugs against the disease (Source: BBC Online).

Government 'invented' bird flu cases, say farmers in Côte d'Ivoire
Poultry farmers in Côte d'Ivoire have accused the government of inventing two recent outbreaks of bird flu in an attempt to slow down local production and earn money through pricier imported birds (Source: IRIN). 
Bird flu could threaten African traditions
Experts at an international bird flu meeting in Bamako, Mali said that African customs, such as using children to take care of village poultry, could increase the risk of a bird flu pandemic, and called for disease control methods that are compatible with African traditions (Source: Reuters).
Bird flu can be caused by other virus infections
Bird flu sometimes occurs in vaccinated poultry because of co-infection with other immunosuppressive viruses, according to research presented at a symposium in China this week (Source: World Poultry Net).   

Avian flu spread by poultry trade in Asia, say scientists
Scientists say bird flu was spread in Asia more by the poultry trade than by wild birds, whilst in Africa they had more equal roles (Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

Wednesday 6 December 2006

Complacency threatens to undermine efforts to prevent a bird flu pandemic
The head of the AU's Bureau for Animal Resources told an international bird flu meeting in Bamako, Mali that complacency threatens to undermine global efforts to prevent a bird flu pandemic (Source: Reuters). 

Tuesday 5 December 2006

Central America cooperates against bird flu
Institutions in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua have agreed to join forces to tackle bird flu (Source: Prensa Latina).