Stop bickering and start analysing: WHO

The World Health Organisation has urged Chinese and foreign scientists to stop bickering about bird flu and start sharing information to ensure that any and all strains of bird flu are combated most effectively.

Henk Bekedam, the WHO's representative for China, says that scientists - instead of battling issues out in the media - should sit down and analyse the details of bird flu studies to work out how they can be applied in a useful way.
“This is an ideal opportunity to get a better idea what is happening in China and assess strategies that have been effective and develop even more targeted strategies if there is a need," he said.
Chinese officials and scientists recently rejected a paper published last week by Hong Kong and US scientists in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The report stated that a new vaccine-resistant 'Fujian-like' avian influenza strain had emerged in poultry and infected humans in China, and may spread across Asia and Europe.
The Chinese scientists' strongly worded rebuttals, claiming there was "no scientific basis" for the views and conclusions in the paper, circulated in the media shortly afterwards.
They accused the foreign researchers of "unscientific methods" and said China's vaccination programme was effective.
But they gave no details or data, something that Bekedam says is seriously lacking.
"Right or wrong, this goes to a level of details that you have to talk to scientists, people who look at gene sequencing and give us clues as to what is happening," he said.

Editor WorldPoultry

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