• Bird flu update: 31 July 2006


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 31 July 2006

Lack of aid 'weakening bird flu control in Asia'
Weak disease-surveillance and inadequate aid are hampering efforts to fight bird flu in Asia, according to a senior official of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (Source: SciDev.Net).

Thailand points finger at Laos for latest bird flu
Thailand has accused neighbouring Laos of letting the H5N1 spread into Thailand, but will help it stamp out the virus (Source: Reuters).

Thailand revises its number of suspected bird flu patients
Thailand's public health ministry has revised the number of patients suspected of having bird flu from over 110 to 80; in Nakhon Phanom province, 30,000 chickens are being culled by 1,500 health officials (Source: Bangkok Post).

Sunday 30 July 2006

New bird flu outbreak along Thai-Lao border
The H5N1 bird flu virus has been found in the northeast of Thailand, near the border with Laos, prompting the culling of 310,000 hens, the Agriculture Ministry said (Source: Reuters).

Friday 28 July 2006

112 admitted for bird flu tests in Thailand
Thai public health authorities have said that 112 patients suspected of having contracted avian influenza from 14 provinces and are being monitored and tested (Source: Bangkok Post).

UN body says H5N1 bird flu found on Lao farm
The H5N1 bird flu virus has been found on a poultry farm in Laos, south of Vientiane, where about 2,500 chickens died last week (Source: Reuters).

Thai push for faster Tamiflu use to fight bird flu
Thailand will push for Tamiflu to be used in suspected cases of bird flu rather than waiting for lab results, meaning that clinical guidelines for the seven provinces where H5N1 is endemic would be revised (Source: Reuters).

Bird flu outbreaks in Indonesia going unstudied
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that very few — if any — avian flu samples from Indonesian birds have been sent to official labs for sequencing over the past year (Source: Nature).

Thursday 27 July 2006

Thailand tries to improve bird flu monitoring
The Thai agriculture minister demanded that suspicious bird deaths be investigated faster and more thoroughly, and that villagers be more open and honest about possible outbreaks in the northern provinces (Source: Reuters).

Flu outbreak quelled on ostrich farm in South Africa
An outbreak of bird flu in ostriches was controlled by culling 8,000 birds at a South African farm near the southwestern town of Mossel Bay, agriculture officials said (Source: International Herald Tribune).

Wednesday 26 July 2006

WHO to observe Chinese tests on 2003 bird flu cases
China has invited UN experts to observe its tests to verify findings that a man who died late in 2003 contracted H5N1; this was two years before China officially reported its first human case (Source: Reuters).

Glaxo makes small-dose bird flu vaccine
UK drug firm GlaxoSmithKline has developed a vaccine against H5N1 which has proved effective in humans at two doses of 3.8 micrograms (Source: BBC Online).

Ghana tells media to intensify education on bird flu
The Ghanaian minister of food and agriculture appealed to various media organisations to dispel fears of eating poultry and eggs (Source: Accra Daily Mail).

Tuesday 25 July 2006

Thailand bans poultry imports to prevent new bird flu outbreak
Thailand has banned poultry imports from neighbouring countries to prevent a new outbreak of bird flu (Source: Xinhua).

Americas must prepare for bird flu, says UN
UN health agencies and other partners have launched a bird flu preparedness campaign for the Americas, saying the virus could reach the western hemisphere at any time (Source: UN News Centre).

Global alert system set up for animal-human diseases
Three leading agencies have set up the first international alert system to detect animal diseases that can infect humans (Source: Associated Foreign Press).

More cats found with bird flu
The H5N1 virus has been found in two dead cats in northern Iraq, reinforcing the idea that cats may play a role in the spread of the virus and help provide an early-warning system for avian flu (Source: [email protected]).

Bird flu kills Thai youth
A 17-year-old Thai male from the northern province of Pichit has died of H5N1, the country's 15th death since the virus swept across parts of Asia in late 2003, according to a senior health official (Source: Reuters).

Monday 24 July 2006

Bulgaria finds no sign of H5N1 strain in dead birds
Tests have shown a bird flu outbreak in southern Bulgaria was not the deadly H5N1 strain, said the agriculture minister; samples will be sent to Britain for further testing (Source: Reuters).