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Avian Flu News Tracker
posted by admin on 11/07/06

Monday, July 10

1:45 p.m.: Bird-flu donations have lagged and need to pick up again, U.N. officials in Geneva said. "The threats we're dealing with here are not science fiction. They're real," said U.N. bird-flu chief David Nabarro. He said the world must be prepared for mutations that would make H5N1 easy to pass from human to human. The virus is "certainly moving into more and more countries with a speed that is for me and my colleagues a continuing cause for concern," he told reporters. Of the $1.9 billion pledged at a meeting in Beijing last January, more than half has advanced to the stage where the money is legally committed, Nabarro said. But only $331 million has actually been handed over. David Harcharik, deputy director-general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, said bird flu had been checked in poultry in Western Europe and much of Southeast Asia apart from Indonesia, but that it is still expanding in Africa.
• A Closer Look: Case histories of 131 human bird-flu deaths (Updated July 10)

9 a.m.: Cardinal Health said it agreed to produce Tamiflu influenza medication for Roche the Basel, Switzerland, drug maker. Cardinal will produce 75-milligram hard gelatin capsules of Tamiflu at one of its European facilities.

5:30 a.m.: Vietnam will lift an official ban on raising ducks after no outbreaks of bird flu in poultry have been reported since December, an agriculture ministry official said. A similar ban on chickens was lifted in February, but ducks remained officially off limits because they can carry the virus without showing symptoms. The ban, imposed last year, was supposed to extend through February 2007. Nguyen Dang Vang, director of the ministry's Breeding Department, said a ban on raising and restocking geese, on which the vaccine didn't work, remains in place.

3 a.m.: A privately owned British vaccine company has applied to U.K. regulators for permission to conduct a clinical trial to test a needle-free vaccine targeting H5N1. PowderMed's trial will study for the first time in humans the effects of its needle-free injection device, which fires gold particles coated with DNA containing the virus genes at supersonic speed into skin cells.

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