UN, NGO and General News Round-UP

China needs to improve its surveillance of the bird flu virus after a recent rise in human cases, but there are no signs the country is on the verge of an epidemic, UN experts said on Feb. 18. China reported eight human cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in January, five of whom died, which appeared independent of any known case in birds "Why we don't expect this is the beginning of an epidemic is these cases are geographically distributed and there are no links between them," said Hans Troedsson, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) China representative, as cited by Reuters.

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