In this week's Nature, researchers complain that the reluctance of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to share data on influenza is hampering global research efforts.
Given the threat of a worldwide human influenza pandemic caused by bird flu epidemics in Asia, Russia and Kazakhstan, scientists say it is crucial that the organisation allow access to valuable information on influenza viruses, including their genetic sequences.
The CDC's director of viral and rickettsial diseases acknowledges the importance of sharing data openly to tackle public health problems. But he says that the organisation does not have the capacity to comply with requests for information.Flu researchers retort that because of the CDC's reticence to share information, health policy decisions are being taken without all the necessary data. They add that being able to see the full picture will be crucial for developing vaccines to tackle a flu pandemic.
Link to full Nature news story