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Article Released Wed-21st-September-2005 17:55 GMT
Contact: Ruth Institution: Nature Publishing Group
 Flu efforts hampered

Scientific understanding of flu, and avian flu, is being delayed by the reluctance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the world's top public-health agency, to provide outside scientists with access to crucial data.

News: Flu efforts hampered

Scientific understanding of flu, and avian flu, is being delayed by the
reluctance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
world's top public-health agency, to provide outside scientists with access
to crucial data, according to experts.
A news story in this week's Nature reveals widespread concern that the huge
amounts of flu data collected by the CDC's influenza branch, is not being
made available to research scientists outside the internal CDC and World
Heath Organization networks. Experts say flu science could be greatly
accelerated if the CDC's influenza branch opened its vast databases of
flu-virus sequences, and immunological and epidemiological data.
President Bush last week called for an international partnership on flu,
emphasizing the need for affected countries to share data and samples
rapidly with the World Health Organization. The investigation by Nature
suggests that although international sharing remains a major problem, flu
data must also be shared between US agencies themselves.

Contact for background information
Declan Butler, Journalist, Nature
Tel: +33 1 43 36 59 90; E-mail: d.butler@nature.com
<mailto:d.butler@nature.com>

Associated links

Journal information

Nature

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