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Updated Sept. 16, 2008

Tracking Avian Flu

Since 2003, avian influenza has killed more than 200 people around the globe and spread from Southeast Asia to Europe and Africa.

The Human Toll: Bird Flu Deaths

Countries Affected by Bird Flu

Latest Bird Flu News

» Special Report: Focus on Bird Flu

More Graphics

How the Avian Flu Virus Infects
In its current form, the H5N1 bird flu virus lacks essential properties that would allow it to spread easily among humans. But in the rare cases when it does infect a person, the virus is frequently lethal.

How Does Bird Flu Spread?
The ways in which bird flu is transmitted, and how outbreaks can be contained.

Assessing Bird Flu (as of March 18, 2006)
Countries with known cases of avian influenza, with affected provinces highlighted.


Sept. 16, 2008 - Togo confirms H5N1 at a poultry farm housing more than 4,500 birds in the village of Agbata outside the capital, Lome.

June 11, 2008 - Hong Kong authorities announce they plan to kill all live chickens in territory's retail markets because of fears of bird flu outbreak.

Jan. 30, 2008 - Bird flu virus spreads in Indonesia, Tibet and India.

Jan. 16, 2008 - Health workers slaughter tens of thousands of chickens after bird flu killed more than 35,000 birds in eastern India, officials said.

Jan. 3, 2008 - Bird flu is discovered in northern Israel.

Nov. 13, 2007 - An outbreak of bird flu in eastern England is the H5N1 strain of the disease, the government said. Britain had successfully eradicated an outbreak of H5N1 in Suffolk earlier in the year.

Sept. 18, 2007 - China scrambled to respond to an outbreak of bird flu among ducks in the southern city of Guangzhou.

June 2, 2007 - Malaysia reports first outbreak in chickens in more than a year.

May 24, 2007 - Vietnam and Bangladesh report outbreaks in poultry from multiple provinces throughout the countries.

May 3, 2007 - Ghana reports its first outbreak of H5N1 in poultry.

April 12, 2007 - A new outbreak of bird flu is reported in village poultry in Cambodia.

April 2, 2007 - Saudi Arabia reports its first outbreak of H5N1 in poultry.

March 30, 2007 - Bangladesh reports its first outbreak of H5N1 in poultry.

Feb. 3, 2007 - An outbreak on a commercial turkey farm in eastern England is the first confirmed case of H5N1 among British domestic poultry in more than 15 years, officials said. More than 150,000 turkeys were being slaughtered as a precaution.

Jan. 31, 2007 - Health officials in Nigeria reported the first cases of bird flu in humans, saying one woman had died. Agriculture officials in Japan announced the country's third outbreak this year of the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Also, Indonesia said it will declare bird flu a national disaster following a fresh flare-up in the country.

Dec. 20, 2006 - Vietnam announced the country's first reported outbreak among poultry in a year.

Nov. 26, 2006 - Officials in South Korea began slaughtering poultry after a confirmed H5N1 outbreak in Iksan. South Korea plans to kill cats and dogs in the area to try to prevent the spread of bird flu, officials said.

Nov. 1, 2006 - Scientists say they have discovered a new strain of bird flu, called H5N1 Fujian-like, that is infecting people and poultry. Researchers report it has become the primary version of bird flu in several provinces of China and has spread to Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand.

Sept. 30, 2006 - China reported a new outbreak of the H5N1 virus in poultry in the north, prompting the destruction of thousands of chickens to prevent the spread of the disease.

Sept. 19, 2006 - The World Health Organization said it lacks half the funds it needs to help countries fight bird flu. WHO's director-general said many countries have made great strides to combat the virus, but outbreaks are likely to increase during the cooler months.

Aug. 13, 2006 - A village in Cambodia was closed for a month after a new bird flu outbreak in ducks.

July 7, 2006 - Spain detected its first case of H5N1 bird flu. It found the virus in a water fowl in a marsh area outside the northern city of Vitoria.

June 23, 2006 - A World Health Organization investigation showed that the H5N1 virus mutated slightly in an infected family in Indonesia's Sumatra island, but bird flu experts insist it does not increase the possibility of a human pandemic.

May 5, 2006 - Bird flu is spreading more slowly as warmer spring weather in the Northern Hemisphere reduces the virus's ability to survive in the environment. At least 29 people died of avian flu in the first three months of this year, marking the deadliest quarter yet, as the virus spread through Europe and Africa. The H5N1 virus has killed at least 114 of 206 people infected since late 2003, including a 27-year-old woman from Egypt who died May 4, 2006.

March 17, 2006 - Israel detected its first cases of H5N1 bird flu, saying it had found the virus in thousands of turkeys and chickens found dead on two farms.

Feb. 21, 2006 - The H5N1 strain of bird flu is confirmed in Hungary and Croatia.

Feb. 8, 2006 - The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) says an outbreak of bird flu among poultry in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria is a highly pathogenic form of the H5N1 virus. H5N1 had not previously been detected in Africa, though other bird flu strains have.

Feb. 6, 2006 - WHO confirms two deaths from bird flu in Indonesia, taking the overall toll to 88.

Feb. 2, 2006 - Specimens from Iraq's first reported case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus have now been tested at a WHO collaborating laboratory in the United Kingdom. The case was a 15-year-old girl from the northern part of the country who died of severe respiratory disease on 17 January. Test results confirmed her infection.

Jan. 5, 2006 - Bird flu kills two teenagers in eastern Turkey, the first fatalities by the virus outside of East Asia. The health minister, Recep Akdag, said the siblings apparently contracted the virus from ailing chickens at his family's home in the shadow of Mount Ararat, near the Armenian border.

Dec. 3, 2005 - Indonesia suffers its eighth human death due to bird flu. This brings the confirmed human death toll throughout Asia to 69, comprising 42 in Vietnam, 13 in Thailand, eight in Indonesia, four in Cambodia and two in China. Meanwhile, Ukraine introduces tough steps to combat its first outbreak of bird flu, sending troops to patrol exclusion zones in the Crimea peninsula.

Nov. 15, 2005 - Britain says 53 finch-like birds imported from Taiwan died last month in a British quarantine center where they were believed to have introduced the H5N1 virus.

Nov. 9, 2005 - Over three days of talks, health experts agree in a billion dollar strategy to minimize the virus threat at source in animals and humans.

Nov. 8, 2005 - Vietnam reports the death of a man from bird flu.

Nov. 4, 2005 - China reports its fourth outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in a month after nearly 9,000 chickens died in Liaoning province.

Oct. 21, 2005 - Hungary says an experimental vaccine against the deadly strain of bird flu has proven effective. Scientists also detect the H5 avian flu virus in wild swans found dead in eastern Croatia.

Oct. 15, 2005 - British tests identify H5N1 in three ducks found dead in Ceamurlia de Jos in Romania, the first incidence in mainland Europe of H5N1.

Oct. 10, 2005 - The European Commission announces a ban on imports of live birds and feathers from Turkey to the 25-nation EU. This was in response to Turkey reporting its first case of bird flu two days earlier. It was later confirmed as the type dangerous to humans, the H5N1 strain.

Sept. 27, 2004 - Thailand says it has found a case where one human probably infected another with bird flu. It said this was an isolated incident that posed little risk to the population.

Aug. 19, 2004 - Malaysia says a strain of bird flu has been found in two chickens that died near the Thai border, its first cases.

March 16, 2004 - China declares it has stamped out the disease.

Jan. 8, 2004 - Vietnam says bird flu found on its poultry farms.

Dec. 15, 2003 - South Korea confirms a highly contagious type of bird flu at a chicken farm near Seoul and begins a mass cull of poultry when the virus rapidly spreads across the country.

NOTE: Bird migration paths are approximate. | SOURCE: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Wire Reports | GRAPHIC: washingtonpost.com

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