Major developments Tuesday in the bird flu outbreak:

– Indonesia confirmed the country’s fourth human death from bird flu – the 62nd worldwide.

– Health ministers from 30 nations and the heads of the World Health Organization and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, meeting in Canada, urged developed countries to put aside some of their influenza drugs for less-developed ones.

– China reported its second outbreak in a week among fowl. An outbreak sickened 2,100 geese and killed about 500 of them in eastern Anhui province.

– Thailand said it will deploy 1.3 million health workers and volunteers across the country. Chickens showing symptoms of the virus will be killed; people with symptoms will be sent to health clinics.

– Sri Lanka temporarily banned poultry imports from countries affected by the bird flu.

– Vietnamese media said the country is considering a prohibition of live poultry in all urban areas, and Australia said it will give Vietnam $2.25 million to tackle bird flu.

– The European Parliament urged EU nations to urgently complete contingency plans for battling a possible flu pandemic, and some called for more coordinated action.

– European Union veterinary experts endorsed an EU-wide ban on the import of exotic birds and stricter rules on the movement of private pet birds. The EU commission still needs to adopt the measures.

– Croatian authorities said they shot down a sick swan in a nature park where six dead swans tested positive for bird flu last week. Samples will be tested.

– In Germany, officials said preliminary tests on wild geese found dead there were positive for bird flu. More tests will be done to see if it’s the deadly H5N1 strain.

— Tests on a dead swan in Slovenia would be known by the end of the week; initial results were negative. In Hungary, six dead pigeons and a swan were tested.

– Russia’s top veterinary officer warned that a new, more dangerous strain of bird flu could reach the country with migrating birds next spring. However, he cited a WHO forecast saying the threat to humans was low.

– Bulgaria banned imports of live fowl, poultry products and eggs from Macedonia and Croatia after birds died in both countries from various ailments.

– Poland earmarked nearly $100 million in case of an outbreak, in addition to $33 million already allocated for vaccinations, masks and protective clothing for health care workers.

– Spain banned open-air breeding of fowl near 18 marshes where migrating wild birds tend to gather. Zoos in the areas must also keep birds indoors and vaccinate others that need to stay outdoors. Open-air bird markets were banned.

– France told poultry farmers in 21 regions near wetlands to bring free-range birds indoors.

– Authorities in Romania said they will expand and speed testing of flocks. The H5N1 strain was confirmed earlier this month in two Romanian villages.

– The Dominican Republic said it has banned live bird imports from countries hit by the disease.


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