H5N1: The avian flu

WHO denies exaggerating bird flu pandemic threat

China reported a 10th person diagnosed with bird flu virus. WHO says there is a serious threat and that a pandemic could arise with little or no warning from the animal side.

Avian flu: chicken farms to be inspected in Hong Kong
The virus was found in tests on a dead oriental magpie robin. Authorities urge people to remain calm. New human cases reported in Indonesia. Optimism prevails in Turkey.
There is no evidence that Tamiflu works against bird flu
Flu experts say they found no documented evidence that the drug Tamiflu is effective. In Beijing the world pledges US$ 1.9 billion in the battle against the virus. More outbreaks and deaths in China and Turkey have been announced.
Bird flu risks stopping Turkey's economic growth
Trade and tourism are essential to the Turkish economy. Ankara hopes to stop further outbreaks, is hoping to receive foreign aid. The 21st human case is reported.
Bird flu: more than 1.5 billion dollars needed to stem infection

A donors' conference has opened in Beijing for prevention and care above all in poor Asian countries. There are new deaths in Indonesia and Turkey and a suspected case in Jerusalem.

Indonesian 13-year-old girl dies of bird flu

If confirmed, the latest cases would take total known deaths in Indonesia from avian flu to 13. Girl's two brothers have tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

Avian flu: Between good and bad news
The good news is that three children have recovered from the bird flu; the bad news is that one girl died from it. For FAO, there still is time to prevent the flu from becoming endemic in Turkey as long as there are "enough resources".
Bird flu risks rise as Chinese New Year approaches
Experts are really worried. Millions are on the move for the traditional holiday when poultry sales grow exponentially. Vietnam faces the same problem but more so.
Two people in China sickened by bird flu have died
The total number of people killed by the disease on the mainland to five, on country's eighth human case. New outbreak in the southwestern province of Guizhou: 16,000 quails had died.
Bird flu reaches Istanbul
Samples from chicken found dead on the European side of the city confirm the westward movement of the virus.
EU says Turkey's bird flu is lethal H5N1 strain

The number of deaths and sick people is on the rise across Turkey.

Bird flu at the gates of Europe, second death in Turkey
Fatma, a 15-year-old girl, dies after her brother succumbed yesterday. Turkish health minister confirms the H5N1 virus was the cause and announces further testing.
Bird flu and terrorism cast a shadow over pilgrimage to Makkah
Some 2.5 million people from around the world are expected for Hajj which begins on January 8. Saudi authorities are on maximum alert. Preventive measures have been taken against contagious diseases such as cholera but little has been done for the bird flu.
Bird flu: Hong Kong stops poultry imports from Sichuan

There has been a new outbreak of the epidemic in Sichuan on 22 December, made public only yesterday. The Hong Kong government reacted immediately despite official assurances that the situation was "under control". FAO fears "more numerous epidemic outbreaks" in China.

Bird flu feared more virulent in Eastern Europe than in Asia

There have been several outbreaks of infection in Russia, Roumania and Turkey. Four Turkish siblings are not infected with the disease. There is a new suspect death in Indonesia.

WHO: China may have unidentified bird flu outbreaks

This view was expressed after the death of a 41-year-old woman was declared in an area free of bird flu outbreaks. There is a new suspect death in Indonesia. Meanwhile the situation has improved n Vietnam.

Bird flu: in China WHO says many human cases unreported
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) official, China's healthcare system is inadequate; awareness about the problem remains poor in rural areas. Beijing still has not provided the WHO with virus samples. Authorities are in a high state of alert in Saudi Arabia in anticipation of hajj; 622,000 pilgrims are already in the country.
Sixth human case of bird flu in China

Government fears an enormous epidemic in the Lunar New Year.

Five-year old boy is Thailand's 14th bird flu victim
Two additional human bird flu cases are confirmed in China. New outbreaks are reported in Vietnam as the economy goes into a tale-spin.
Farmer who blew the whistle on bird flu outbreak is arrested
Speaking out might have provoked local government vendetta. Media are asking questions. New viral outbreaks are reported in Vietnam.
WHO urges China to share H5N1 virus samples

The Chinese government has agreed to do so, however samples have yet to reach the World Health Organisation.

Bird flu kills again in Indonesia

Two other suspected deaths are reported. New outbreaks every week occur in China.

Bird flu 38 times more infectious than SARS

The Hong Kong University says each sick person will infect another 1,024 within one month. It is predicted that there will be one million victims in Hong Kong alone. Meanwhile, China has acknowledged a second death.

New human bird flu case confirmed in Vietnam
A 15-year-old boy has tested positive for the virus that killed more than 60 people across Asia. In the boy's household, there were dead poultry, the area blocked off.
Bird flu: "Impossible" for China to vaccinate 14 billion birds

This is what experts say. 70% of poultry is raised outside. Meanwhile, there are new outbreaks of infection in northern Xinjiang and southern Yunnan.

Two more suspected avian flu deaths in Indonesia and Vietnam
New outbreaks are reported in China and Vietnam. Thailand reports new human cases.
Asia-Pacific Rim leaders urge common action against avian flu
APEC summit ends with pledges and commitments but few facts. Another South Korean farmer commits suicide to protest market liberalisation.
More outbreaks and human bird flu cases expected in China
The World Health Organisation (WHO) expects things to get worse in China. Two new outbreaks reported in Hubei and Xinjiang provinces. Indonesia asks for the world's help. Tamiflu is under probe in Japan.
China admits to first human case of bird flu

The victim is a boy from Hunan, the brother of a girl who died a month ago from "pneumonia". New outbreaks of infection have been reported in Xinjiang. The infection is spreading in Vietnam despite widespread slaughter of birds, and the production of a vaccine has been announced.

Avian flu: China might not be reporting every outbreak
Local media sources suggest that not all the information—including reports about human casualties—is being released. Meanwhile, health authorities announce another outbreak in Anhui province and the discovery of a new vaccine. In Indonesia, teams will check every backyard.
Bird flu: scientists fear the virus has become "more contagious"

A viral form which attacks mammals with more ease has been identified in Vietnam. New cases of human infection have been in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. There were another two deaths in Indonesia and one in Vietnam.

New human bird flu cases suspected in Vietnam and China
In Liaoning province new outbreaks have occurred, forcing the authorities to put hundreds of people under observation. Indonesia refuses loans to fight the disease, will accept only grants. Dead birds found in Kuwait.
Bird flu suspected in new death in Indonesia
Virus is spreading in China despite government measures. New outbreaks reported in Liaoning province and Vietnam.
Prime Minister admits bird flu contagion peril

WHO will carry out validation checks in Chinese labs, which are under fire after two researchers were infected by Sars in 2004. There is concern about the frequency of outbreaks of infection. The price of poultry is dropping.

A new death from bird flu in Vietnam
A winter outbreak is feared. Beijing calls on the World Health Organisation for help. In Geneva experts and politicians discuss ways to intervene.
China admits to three possible human cases of bird flu

These would be a 12-year-old girl who died on 17 October and another two people from Hunan. More than one million birds have been culled in Liaoning. In Geneva, debate is under way about a world strategy to counter the virus.

Fifth bird flu victim in Indonesia

Two other cases of human infection have been confirmed. A global meeting will be held in Geneva on 7 November to coordinate and strengthen interventions, especially in Asia.

Bird flu pandemic would cost Asia 300 billion dollars

The Asian Development Bank predicts possible global recession. More outbreaks in China and in Vietnam, and four new infections in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Pandemic would be a disaster for Asia's economy
China and United States are allocating billions of dollars to control spread and find cure.
In China newspapers can report on the bird flu only if authorised
The new directive is issued at a time when Beijing claims it is not hiding anything. Asia-Pacific countries seek a common strategy to deal with the problem.
Bird flu in China very serious, say official sources

Migrating birds can carry the infection anywhere. The death of a girl in Hunan is still the subject of debate. Beijing stands accused of "excessive use" of an antiviral drug which has led to resistance of the virus. New cases are reported in Japan and South-east Asia.

Thai woman tests positive for bird flu

After three lab tests showed positive results, official confirms infection. Vietnamese Vice Minister of Agriculture "Borders and airports could of course be shut down in the last phase of a pandemic".

Two more bird flu deaths feared in Vietnam

The deaths, which occurred in recent days, were revealed only today. Confirmation tests are under way. The World Health Organisation has asked China to clarify the circumstances surrounding a girl's death in Hunan.

In China no information about the dangers of the avian flu
Local media are not covering the issue, especially in the areas where it is most needed. International health organisations are concerned. Hunan girl thought to have died of the bird flu died of pneumonia instead.
Suspected new cases of bird flu in humans in China and Thailand
No official confirmation has been forthcoming. International discussions over countermeasures and antiviral drugs continue. Concern is mounting over the danger that the virus might spread to Africa.
More birds infected in China but world leaders have few suggestions

There is concern about a human pandemic but little attention was paid by the Ottawa meeting to the key problem. Experts say intervening in Asia – where the virus is endemic – is a must.

Pandemic inevitable, say experts from around the world meeting in Canada

Counter-measures are being discussed; a pandemic would cost Asia nearly 300 billion dollars. Another contaminated breeding farm in China and the fourth death in Indonesia. India wants to start producing Tamiflu, even without the green light from Roche.

Bird flu: China and Thailand want tighter controls on bird farming and human housing
Early reporting is seen as key to containing outbreaks. Domestic bird vaccination continues. Tomorrow in Ottawa, ministers and experts from around the world meet to discuss the crisis.
Beijing acknowledges bird flu situation is grave
Tighter controls are imposed after a new outbreak in Outer Mongolia. The World Health Organisation calls for full cooperation.
Bird flu spreads and claims new victim in Thailand

Two people are feared to be infected in Indonesia. There are new epidemics among birds in China, Vietnam and Russia west of the Urals. Experts say rapid confirmation of the presence of infection is difficult because of a lack of specialised testing centres in Asia.

Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
Increasingly, voices are raised arguing that the fight against the bird flu must be carried out where it started, in South-East Asia. Countries in the region should be provided with the necessary aid. New cases of infected birds are being reported.
Asian battleground key to beating bird flu virus
For World Health Organisation, the virus appeared in South-East Asia and it is here that the risk of pandemic is the greatest. International aid is necessary to prevent it.
World ill-prepared to face bird flu pandemic

Bird flu has arrived in Europe. No specific vaccine exists as yet. Measures are under way to isolate the infection.

China: an incubator of bird flu

Preventing poultry from contact with wild birds is critical. However it is no easy task to monitor small farms in southern China. There is the danger that the virus hits the Indian subcontinent.

Suspect death in Jakarta fuels global bird flu fears

The US Health Secretary is on a tour of Southeast Asia, warning of an "inevitable" pandemic; Siberia will cull half a million birds and Israel is considering what steps to take.

Bird flu: Ankara tries to allay western fears

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government wants to test vaccine stocks after a scandal involving local production of substandard doses.

Avian flue pandemic could kill up to 300 million people
International health experts warn it might impossible to stop virus spreading once the pandemic is underway. The US is looking at ways to close its borders and isolate 'hot spots".
Indonesia's bird flu toll is rising
Bird Flu: Are there risks, cures?

In recent days our news staff have received numerous phone calls by persons traveling to Asia and wanted to know more about the status of the bird flu in various countries, the risks of infections and how to protect themselves. Below we have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions. The answers were taken from World Health Organization members and medical experts residing in Asia.