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China refuses to provide H7N9 avian influenza virus sample to the United States - August 28, 2018

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  • China refuses to provide H7N9 avian influenza virus sample to the United States - August 28, 2018

    China refuses to provide H7N9 avian influenza virus sample to the United States

    EMILY BAUMGAERTNER August 28, 2018

    "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."


    "The Chinese government has refused to share clinical data from infected patients, according to scientists, and claims to have all but eradicated H7N9 through a single poultry vaccination campaign."

    "May the long time sun
    Shine upon you,
    All love surround you,
    And the pure light within you
    Guide your way on."

    "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."

    “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
    Mohandas Gandhi

    Be the light that is within.

  • #2
    US has received five H7N9 viruses from China since May this year

    By Shan Juan and Wang Xiaodong | | Updated: 2018-08-31 17:47

    China and the United States have continued to share influenza virus samples for public health. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received five H7N9 viruses from China CDC since May this year, according to the World Health Organization.

    The statement was made in response to some US media allegations that China has been refusing for more than a year to share H7N9 viruses with the US to develop vaccines and treatments.

    Influenza virus sharing for public health via the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System has been ongoing for 66 years, and the China CDC and USCDC are two of six WHO Collaborating Centers participating in GISRS, the WHO said.

    Both institutions actively exchange information and materials, such as reference viruses (seasonal, zoonotic and pandemic viruses), sera panels and reagents for risk assessment and development of countermeasures, the organization asserted in a written interview with China Daily on Thursday.
    An anonymous source with China CDC confirmed the center sent five H7N9 viruses to USCDC in July. "We have always shared viruses," he said.
    Last edited by Pathfinder; August 31st, 2018, 12:26 PM.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela


    • #3
      Translation Google
      Maxwell Peng: There is no precedent for sharing virus specimens between big countries
      • Maxwell Pengvirologist, formerly engaged in H7N9 related research
      share to: 29145

      2018-08-30 13:00:16Font Size:A-AA+Source: Observer Network
      Keywords:New York TimesH7N9

      [With the escalation of Sino-US trade conflicts, the contradictions between the two countries seem to extend from trade issues to other areas under the US media. The New York Times, the US public opinion leader, reported that China refused to provide samples of H7N9 avian influenza virus to the United States, delaying the development of vaccine development in the United States. What is the truth? Observer Network interviewed industry insiders who have worked on H7N9 related research and organized them as follows. 】

      [Text / Observer Network columnist Maxwell Peng] China has been providing timely information on the outbreak, detection, and viral genome of H7N9 highly pathogenic avian influenza.

      The WHO does have a related agreement called "Pandemic influenza preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits." This agreement is mainly a framework for the prevention of large-scale high-infectious flu worldwide. China is also a signatory to WHO members.

      The agreement requires States parties to: in the event of a highly pathogenic, explosive, flu-like influenza, prompt notification and data and biological material transfer.

      There is no problem in transmitting the data here, which is the sequence of the influenza gene we have seen. At the same time, it also stipulates that biological materials infected with influenza should be promptly sent to a qualified laboratory with WHO certification for research.

      At the same time, these qualified laboratory companies and some other research institutions should publish their research information in a timely manner, and once the vaccine is developed, a significant proportion of the vaccine should be provided to the WHO organization at an affordable and affordable price.

      The purpose of this regulation is to prevent the timely acquisition of technical resources against disease after the outbreak of the epidemic in developing countries. Therefore, the agreement believes that animal specimens (including materials) should be promptly sent to qualified laboratories, and qualified laboratories should give back to developing countries that send specimens on product, technology, and even papers.

      China is a big country, and several laboratories including Wuhan Biosystems can conduct analysis and analysis of virus specimens.

      For example, the Ebola virus in previous years. Our country has sent medical teams to help African countries fight the corresponding diseases. Naturally, we also obtained specimens of the Ebola virus. Some Western countries are likely to collect specimens by light, but there is no large-scale medical team dispatch.
      During the Ebola outbreak, we even helped Senegal to establish its own WHO-compliant laboratory.

      Therefore, from this perspective, if an outbreak occurs in China or even in neighboring developing countries, specimens should be sent to our laboratories.

      So far, the WHO's regulations do not stipulate that countries that already have corresponding laboratories have to share this specimen with other countries.

      We are almost certain that there are indeed a variety of laboratories in the United States that want to obtain a virus, not just a viral genome sequence. But directly to another country, it is a very very sensitive topic to have a highly pathogenic virus specimen.

      We can think about it in reverse. If a Chinese laboratory takes the initiative to send a specimen of a highly pathogenic virus in the laboratory to a laboratory in the United States or other countries, instead of researching data, how much? Sensitive.

      It is like the Zika virus that broke out in the Americas. In China's qualified laboratories, if you want to send a virus specimen directly to the United States, I think most of them will not give it.

      According to the practice in the line, for such a relationship involving state-to-state, there are some things related to the highly pathogenic virus. Those interviewed generally do not disclose their identity, at least not. Americans do this, and we should do the same.

      For developing countries, it is also customary to actively provide specimens to developed countries in the absence of the ability to fight highly pathogenic viruses. But the problem is that China has a biosafety laboratory that is certified to the World Health Organization. In this case, it is not good to go to the laboratory to get the specimen.

      From the perspective of pure scientific research, of course, it is also a lot of people, and scientists all over the world work together to make it easier to make good things. But when it comes to realistic operations, it is too sensitive for a country's laboratory to go to a laboratory in another country to have a specimen of a highly pathogenic virus. There are too many problems to consider.

      In addition, as far as the H7N9 virus is concerned, the country that finally submitted the viral genome sequence has been provided by China on July 1 last year. Nothing is provided anymore, whether it is a specimen of the human body or a specimen of other animals, I am not sure about this reason. I am saying that all countries in the world have stopped submitting.
      China's submission of H7N9 virus information records
      The New York Times report that it is a specimen of certain American institutions that wants a virus, but everyone in this matter is clear and sensitive, and there is no precedent between big countries.

      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela


      • #4
        Mon, Sep 03, 2018 - Page 1

        China withholding avian flu samples
        By Wu Liang-yi, Lin CHIA-NAN and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporters, with staff writer

        China has refused requests from the US and other fellow WHO members for more than a year to provide lab samples from its outbreak of H7N9 avian influenza last year, in contravention of the organization’s regulations, while non-member Taiwan has shared its sole mutated strain of the H7N9 virus with researchers in the US.
        The samples that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been sharing with the US come from a 69-year-old Taiwanese businessman who in February last year was diagnosed with H7N9 after returning from China and later died.

        What made his case different was that an analysis of the H7N9 strain he had contracted showed that a mutation had developed, the CDC said at the time.

        The mutated virus was highly pathogenic in birds, and resistant to oseltamivir, zanamivir and other antiviral medications, it said.

        “We believe that providing this information to the world is very important, thus [we] released it on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data Web site,” CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Saturday.

        A sample of the virus strain is still stored at the agency’s biological material storage facility, Lo added.
        However, the sample Taiwan provided was not enough to develop a vaccine, so more samples are needed to create a vaccine suitable for humans, he said.
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela


        • #5
          February 13, 2019

          ASU professor on how nation's tactic of withholding pathogen samples could create a public health threat

          Q: What are the potential consequences of China’s refusal to share fresh pathogen samples?

          A: As researchers, we rely on publicly available data that is well annotated so that we can incorporate that into our models and get the most up-to-date information about what’s going on with these viruses. If the last sample of a virus you have is from more than a few years ago, that’s really outdated. Especially with H7N9, a bird flu strain that started in 2013 as a low pathogenic virus but has recently evolved into a highly pathogenic virus, meaning it now has the ability to kill its host. That shows that the virus is not sitting still, so we need to be monitoring it so we know what are the necessary changes needed for the virus to evolve into a strain capable of spreading from human to human, and at what point it’s at in its evolution. I have no idea when or if it could ever happen but it’s something that we need to monitor very closely, and the fact that we’re not able to monitor it as closely as we want to because China is withholding samples is concerning, because without them, we also can’t develop treatments and vaccines for it.

          Q: Has this ever happened before?

          A: We’ve seen this before with China, when they withheld samples of SARS and another bird flu strain, H5N1. But it’s hard to say what’s going to happen this time. These viruses are so unpredictable. We know H7N9 has killed about 40 percent of the people it has infected, and most of them had direct contact with poultry, usually through live bird markets. So those are the risk factors we know about. And the fact of that matter is, if we continue to allow live bird markets, more people are going to get sick and that could potentially lead to larger problems.

          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela