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Timeline: Bird flu crisis unfolds

Bangkok has promised swift action in a country already culling millions of chickens and disinfecting farms.
Bangkok has promised swift action in a country already culling millions of chickens and disinfecting farms.

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Officials act quickly in China, citing lessons learned from the SARS outbreak a year ago.
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Nations hit by bird flu
•S. Korea
•Taiwan (different strain)
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(CNN) -- Since South Korea confirmed a bird flu outbreak in December, authorities have been scrambling to crack down on a disease which has already resulted in human deaths and is ravaging chicken farms in Asia.

In little over a month, avian influenza has been confirmed in ten nations, prompting the World Health Organization to declare it could be more potentially dangerous than SARS, which swept through Asia last year.

Following is a timeline detailing how the crisis unfolded.


15 December 2003

• South Korea confirms bird flu outbreak


9 January

• The United Nations sends help to Vietnam after bird flu outbreak

11 January

• First of six Vietnamese deaths confirmed from bird flu

12 January

• Japan confirms bird flu outbreak

15 January

• Taiwan reports different strain of bird flu

21 January

• Laos reports suspected chicken cholera

• Vietnam says 900,000 chickens possibly exposed to virus sold to public

23 January

• Thailand confirms first human cases of bird flu

• Cambodia confirms bird flu in chickens

25 January

• Indonesia confirms it has been hit by the disease

• Thai PM admits his government suspected a bird flu outbreak for weeks

• China bans poultry from Thailand and Cambodia, joining the EU and Japan

26 January

• Thailand announces first human death from bird flu

• Pakistan reports it has bird flu

27 January

• Laos confirms it has bird flu

28 January

• The number of Thai provinces affected nearly doubles to 25

• Bangkok hosts international crisis talks

• China confirms it has bird flu in two central provinces

• Vietnam says two sisters who died last week were killed by bird flu, taking the country's toll to eight

29 January

• Beijing rejects allegations it was the source of the outbreak

• WHO asks China for explanation of the deaths of two Hong Kong tourists a year ago

• Indonesia orders immediate killing of all infected poultry

• Taiwan reports new outbreaks in ducks and chickens at four farms

• China bans the outdoor slaughter of poultry in Beijing, quarantines 31 farmers

• Pakistan orders a cull of all infected poultry

• Three more provinces hit in Vietnam; 31 of 64 provinces and cities now struck

• India bans all poultry imports

30 January

• Indonesia says it will only carry out a selective slaughter

• Thai officials report four more suspected cases, including one death; 32 out of 76 provinces hit

• WHO says the scale of China's outbreak could be far larger than reported

• Three more regions hit in Vietnam, now totals 34 out of 64

31 January

• China confirms two more areas affected, announces four new suspected outbreaks, raising number to seven, including Shanghai.

• Four more Thai provinces hit, now in 36 of 76 provinces

• Thailand lists three more suspected human cases, three children in critical condition, bringing the number of suspected cases to 14, including seven deaths

• Thai Prime Minister promises to pay three million baht ($76,000) to relatives of anyone dying from eating cooked chicken or eggs

• Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai imposes a ban on all transport of chicken across Vietnam. Seven more provinces affected, number now 41 provinces

• Taiwan slaughters 33,000 chickens at three southern farms hit by H5N2

• Hong Kong says it will give flu shots to up to 5,000 people in the poultry trade

1 February

• WHO says two sisters in Vietnam could have contracted virus from their brother in what could be the first case of human-to-human transmission in Asia's bird flu crisis

• Five more suspected outbreaks in China, one in remote northwestern Xinjiang region

• Singapore says about 250 healthy chickens and other birds are to be culled as a precaution

•  Indonesia says it has set aside $5.92 million to compensate farmers ordered to slaughter sick poultry

• Taiwan says it has vaccinated some 8,000 poultry and pig farmers against human flu to prevent it mutating with bird flu strains. Vaccination of all children below 10 considered

• China reveals five more suspected cases of bird flu in poultry, including one in its remote northwest. It now has three confirmed cases and eight suspected cases in 10 regions

2 February

• An 18-year-old dies of bird flu in Ho Chi Minh City, bringing to nine the fatalities in Vietnam

• A Thai woman dies of bird flu, taking that country's toll from the virus to three

3 February

• Indonesia finds the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which can be deadly to humans, in its poultry flocks

• A seven-year-old Thai boy dies, becoming the country's fourth confirmed death from the disease. The total number of fatalities stands at 13

• China says the potentially lethal H5N1 strain has been detected in poultry in teeming Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong.

• China now has 12 provinces, regions and major cities to have confirmed or suspected cases of the disease

• The European Union confirms its six-month ban on Thai poultry imports

4 February

• Two more children die of bird flu, bringing the human toll from the disease to at least 14

• Health experts meet in Rome for an emergency bird flu summit. They warn citizens not to panic

• Health authorities in Germany said they tested two women for possible bird flu infection. Results are negative.

• Chinese agricultural officials confirm the H5N1 strain of bird flu -- the more deadly variety -- is present among poultry at a new location in Yunnan, one of 12 Chinese provinces already affected by the outbreak.

• The European Union and Japan bar poultry products from Thailand.

• The EU extends ban for another six months to Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, China, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

5 February

• World Health Organization confirms two more deaths in Vietnam

• China's Agriculture Ministry officials report 56,000 birds have been infected, and 49,000 have died. Some 1.2 million birds -- including chickens, ducks and geese -- have been destroyed to contain the outbreaks

• In the United States, Delaware officials order the destruction of some 12,000 farm chickens after confirming a flock there was infected by bird flu. The birds have a strain of the disease milder than the one devastating Asia's poultry stocks

6 February

• Delaware's agriculture secretary says it is "way premature" for South Korea to ban U.S. poultry products after a strain of bird flu not known to affect humans was found on a farm in the state

• The infected flock of 12,000 birds are destroyed. They belonged to a private farmer who sold chickens in live markets in New York city

• Japan becomes the second Asian nation to suspend all imports of American poultry, after South Korea immediately halted imports following news of the U.S. outbreak

• U.N. health experts issue stern warnings about bird flu as health authorities in Vietnam and Thailand say the human death toll in Asia has risen to 18

7 February

• U.N. experts are investigating whether the bird flu that is sweeping through Asia has spread to pigs

• Thai government gives away 60 tons of cooked meat and eggs at a feast in a park opposite Bangkok's royal palace

• China says it has newly confirmed cases of bird flu in poultry in six provinces -- Hubei, Shaanxi, Gansu, Hunan, Guangdong and Zhejiang -- in an upgrade of cases previously listed as suspected outbreaks

8 February

• Vietnamese health officials report a new infection - a 23-year-old man from the Koho ethnic minority group in central Lam Dong province. He lives near a poultry market

• Vietnam confirms 19 cases of human infection -- 14 of them have died, two remain in hospital and two have recovered

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