Bird flu: sample dispute complicates tracking

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Bird flu: sample dispute complicates tracking


Cet article paru en MAI 2005 est certainement toujours d'actualité lorsque l''on considère le peu d'information et le peu de rafraichissement d'informations mises à la disposition des populations, parfois moins ignares que leurs gouvernants : " qu'on " se le dise.

Si vous êtes journaliste, je ne peux que vous recommander ce site - un clic sur son logo l'ouvre - dont les articles sont généralement sourcés en pdf ( une manie pour eux aussi) d'articles de "Nature" et "Science".

Bonne continuation.



12 May 2005
Source: Article source science

Evidence that people are now transmitting the bird flu virus to others increases the likelihood of a human pandemic. Keeping track of how the virus is mutating is crucial to being able to predict such a pandemic, but this requires the continued analysis of large numbers of samples from bird flu patients.

In this week's Nature, Declan Butler reports that the World Health Organization (WHO), which is in charge of the global effort against the virus, has so far received just six samples, the last of which was sent in October 2004.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which should be collecting samples to track the infection in poultry in Asia, has not been given any new samples either. Not only that, but the WHO has accused the FAO of not sharing what it does have.

An FAO representative said that countries are not supplying samples partly because they lack the resources to transport such material safely, but also because they are reluctant to release information that the press might make public or other scientists might take credit for.

While the FAO is trying to negotiate the terms of using national samples, the WHO is addressing themselves directly to government health representatives rather than relying on its fellow UN agency.

So far, Vietnam has agreed to send samples, which WHO officials hope will encourage others to do the same.


US health agency must share flu data, say researchers


*Bird flu virus (H5N1)
22 September 2005

In this week's Nature, researchers complain that the reluctance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to share data on influenza is hampering global research efforts.

Given the threat of a worldwide human influenza pandemic caused by bird flu epidemics in Asia, Russia and Kazakhstan, scientists say it is crucial that the organisation allow access to valuable information on influenza viruses, including their genetic sequences.

The CDC's director of viral and rickettsial diseases acknowledges the importance of sharing data openly to tackle public health problems. But he says that the organisation does not have the capacity to comply with requests for information.

Flu researchers retort that because of the CDC's reticence to share information, health policy decisions are being taken without all the necessary data. They add that being able to see the full picture will be crucial for developing vaccines to tackle a flu pandemic.

Link to full Nature news story 




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