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WHO Asks China for Bird Flu Samples

The World Health Organization has asked China to share more information about outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus.

A WHO official Shigeru Omi, regional director for the Western Pacific said Friday China has had at least 26 outbreaks of avian flu in animals this year, but has not shared any laboratory samples with international health organizations. The official said Beijing's experience in combating avian flu is crucial to the global fight against the disease.

China has embarked on an aggressive campaign to fight bird flu, destroying millions of birds and mounting a program to vaccinate all of its more than five billion chicken, ducks and other poultry.

Romanian officials are also reporting more cases of bird flu in poultry, this time west of the Danube delta area where previous cases had been found.

Two people are known to have have died from bird flu in China, out of more than 70 deaths in Asia since 2003.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.