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Indonesia Resumes Sharing of Bird Flu Samples

Indonesia sent a dozen bird flu samples to a World Health Organization laboratory this week, the first time it has done so it more than a year.

Health Ministry officials say they shipped the samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the southeastern U.S. city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Indonesia stopped sending its virus samples to WHO because it wanted assurances that poor and developing nations would be allowed access to affordable vaccines developed from their samples. The government has been in talks with WHO to create a new virus-sharing system.

Health Ministry officials say the samples sent to the CDC laboratory are for diagnostic purposes only.

Indonesia is the most affected nation from the outbreak of the lethal H5N1 form of bird flu with 105 deaths.

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