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Indonesia withholds vital bird flu data JAKARTA - Indonesia, the country worst hit by the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, has stopped sharing human genetic samples of the highly pathogenic illness with foreign laboratories, raising fears it could slow international efforts to prepare for a pandemic. Officials say Indonesia stopped providing samples internationally last month, hindering efforts to confirm whether the virus killing its citizens is H5N1 and limiting production of vaccines to help prevent its spread.

Dr Triono Soendoro, director-general of Indonesia’s National Institute of Health Research and Development, said the step to withhold samples was taken because the government wanted to keep control of the intellectual property rights of the deadly strain of the virus. He declined to give further details but said “all will be revealed” on Wednesday, when Indonesian officials are due to announce they are collaborating with Baxter International, the world’s biggest maker of blood-disease products, on a vaccine.

The move comes as Britain battles its worst outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, which yesterday led to several countries banning UK poultry imports, including Japan and South Korea. Defra, the UK’s food, agriculture and rural affairs ministry, said it expected the restrictions to last until the UK had achieved “disease-free status”. The UK exports 270,000 tonnes of poultry meat annually, worth about £300m, according to the British Poultry Council.

Analysts say Indonesia hopes to offer exclusive rights to the strain to one company and cut a deal on cheaper products once they are developed. One official warned that withholding samples could be counterproductive, since there was no guarantee the final human pandemic strain would derive from the current virus killing people in Indonesia. One bird flu expert in Jakarta said the move would not matter if Indonesia was able to do a full sequencing of its strain to detect mutations. “But given the country doesn’t yet have the capability, this is now a very internationally worrying decision,” the expert said. “If you reduce your chances of detecting whether a pandemic is about to occur, then a pandemic becomes more likely.”

Baxter confirmed last night that it expected to conclude a “framework for future collaboration” with Indonesia this week, which could involve intellectual property issues, but stressed that it would continue to comply with World Health Organisation rules on the sharing of virus samples.


Link to related event Related event:
Bird flu in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu') Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu'):
03 February 2007 · Jakarta poultry ban implemented
31 January 2007 · Indonesia to declare bird flu a national disaster
27 January 2007 · Indonesia asks troops to fight bird flu
24 January 2007 · UN: Bird flu endemic in Indonesia
21 January 2007 · Jakarta residents line up for free meat; mass poultry culls


Posted in Bird Flu @ 06 February 2007 00:47 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





madrotter
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I'm not surprised at all, nothing, i repeat nothing is being done here about birdflu, here in bandung trucks full with bambu crates overloaded with chickens drive by the hundreds all over the city with not even the flimsiest plastic covers or whatever. sby and the rest of them keep saying that they have no money to fight birdflu and it's up to other countries to come up with the money for it. meanwhile sby does have the time and money to go pally pally with putin in russia and buy militairy hardware worth one billion dollar, all the money that's been given for tsunami ravaged aceh is still in the bank being plundered by the ussual corrupt officials and our nice friends from the government keep going on their useless "comparitive studie travels" to places like paris with their whole damn families returning overloaded with the results of their shoppingsprees, all paid by the indonesians that do pay taxes (which are the lower layers of society, around 80% of the top don't pay taxes)... i love this country, i really really do, i've been here for 10 years, my wife and kid are from here, but all this stuff makes me so mad sometimes............



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