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Avian Flu News Tracker
posted by admin on 21/06/06

Tuesday, June 20

5:55 p.m.: Canadian health officials ruled out a suspected case of avian flu, saying a goose that died last week appears to have been misdiagnosed. The country's national animal laboratory said it wasn't able to isolate any avian flu viruses from samples taken last week from domestic poultry on a Prince Edward Island farm, where one goose had earlier tested positive for an H5 virus. A type of H5, H5N1, is the feared virus that has killed about 130 people.

5:25 p.m.: The Bush administration lacks a comprehensive plan for testing and monitoring bird flu in commercial poultry, a federal audit said. The industry is testing every flock for bird flu, but the tests are voluntary and there is no method for reporting findings to the government, the Agriculture Department's inspector general said.

1:50 p.m.: A spokesman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said results of tests on a goose thought to have an H5 subtype would be released sometime after 3 p.m. ET. He added that the CFIA wouldn't confirm or deny earlier media reports that suggested the goose, part of a backyard flock on Prince Edward Island, had tested negative for the deadly H5N1 strain.

1:15 p.m.: In the event of a pandemic, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would continue treating living veterans at hospitals, but the deceased might have to wait. U.S. military cemeteries could be forced to shut down temporarily due to work shortages, according to the VA, which buries more than 250 veterans per day. The VA said in such a scenario, bodies might be stored in refrigerated warehouses or in trucks set up as temporary morgues.

8:55 a.m.: China reported its 35th bird-flu outbreak in poultry since October. This outbreak occurred at poultry farms in the northern province of Shanxi, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The outbreak comes less than a week after China reported a man in the southern city of Shenzen died from the disease, which roiled residents of nearby Hong Kong, who often travel to Shenzen.

8:45 a..m.: The USDA and Iowa State University hosted two dozen scientists from 19 countries -- including hard-hit Indonesia -- in Iowa Monday to train them on how to diagnose avian flu and control its spread, the AP reported. This was the third such USDA training exercise. The first two were held in February and May. Representatives from China participated in the May session, but not in Monday's exercise.

3 a.m.: A WHO-backed lab confirmed Indonesia's 39th bird-flu death, an Indonesian health official said. The victim, a 14-year-old boy from Jakarta, had a history of contact with dead birds. He died last week. The results were announced a day before some of the world's top bird-flu experts were set to meet with Indonesian officials to try to map out a plan to get a handle on the H5N1 virus.

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