China Withholding Dangerous Flu Specimens from USA, Hindering the Creation of Vaccines

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For over a year, the Chinese government has withheld lab samples of a rapidly evolving influenza virus from the United States — specimens needed to develop vaccines and treatments, according to federal health officials.

Despite persistent requests from government officials and research institutions, China has not provided samples of the dangerous virus, a type of bird flu called H7N9. In the past, such exchanges have been mostly routine under rules established by the World Health Organization.

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“Jeopardizing U.S. access to foreign pathogens and therapies to counter them undermines our nation’s ability to protect against infections which can spread globally within days.”

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Under an agreement established by the World Health Organization, participating countries must transfer influenza samples with pandemic potential to designated research centers “in a timely manner.”

www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/china-has-withheld-samples-of-a-dangerous-flu-virus/ar-BBMwyrr

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