JAKARTA - Genetic information about Indonesiaís bird flu virus will be available to researchers who have been monitoring the disease. A free global database launched Thursday will give scientists and health experts access to influenza virus samples and genetic sequencing in an effort to make sure the disease isnít mutating to a form that could spread more easily between people.
China, Russia and other nations that have until now withheld influenza virus samples say they will also hand over their data to the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data, or GISAID.
Previously, the World Health Organization had maintained a database for virus samples and influenza data. Complaints by developing countries about the manner in which information was made available prompted many to withhold data until it could be shared more quickly and openly.