Source AP ©

Indonesia agrees to start sharing bird flu virus samples with WHO

Indonesia's health minister agreed Tuesday to start sending bird flu samples to the World Health Organization immediately.

Siti Fadiliah Supari whose nation has been hardest hit by bird flu, with 66 human deaths has for weeks refused to share virus samples with the global body, saying she wanted a guarantee they would not be used to develop expensive commercial vaccines.

International scientists argued that without specimens, it would be impossible to monitor the Indonesian virus to see if it was mutating into a more dangerous form, reports AP.

"We will start sending bird flu samples to the World Health Organization immediately," Supari told reporters after two days of talks with top WHO officials.