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Indonesia, WHO to Resume Bird Flu Cooperation


Indonesia says it will resume sharing bird flu virus samples with the World Health Organization after receiving guarantees they will not be used for commercial purposes.

Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said Thursday that WHO Director Margaret Chan was providing a guarantee that samples from Indonesia will only be used for diagnostic purposes.

Jakarta triggered a storm of controversy last month when it said it would only share its samples of bird flu with those who agree not to use them for commercial gain.

Meanwhile, state media in China say a woman in the southeastern province of Fujian has contracted the H5N1 strain of the avian flu virus, China's first human bird flu case in seven weeks.

Elsewhere in Asia, officials in Burma have confirmed a new outbreak of the H5N1 virus on poultry farms in the western suburbs of Rangoon.

And Vietnamese authorities say they will lift a ban on hatching ducks and other waterfowl, despite a new outbreak of bird flu in the country's north.

Vietnam announced a massive, new poultry vaccination campaign in the coming week. Earlier bird flu outbreaks there have been controlled through culling and vaccinations.

More than 160 people have died from bird flu since the outbreak began in late 2003.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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