This, in the wake of their massive flooding that has killed scores of people and left Jakarta in a state of ruin. Flood, famine, pestilence, Indonesia has it all!
I truly feel deep remorse for all the people displaced and killed in the flood, but the actions of the Indonesian government is just appalling. The situation on the ground (Jakarta being turned into a cesspool) is now ripe for H5N1 to make a complete transition into human-to-human transmission, and the government decides to shut down access to samples of it's bird flu. Here's VOA news:
"The Indonesian government has announced it is withholding samples of a deadly bird flu virus in light of its new partnership to develop a vaccine with a U.S. drug company. As Chad Bouchard reports from Jakarta, the move may hamper efforts by other countries to develop vaccines to prevent a possible worldwide bird flu pandemic.
Indonesia this week signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S.-based drug maker Baxter International to develop a human vaccine against avian influenza.
But since late last year, when the deal with Baxter began to take shape, the country has been refusing to share samples of the local strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus with foreign laboratories, or with the World Health Organization.
Indonesia did not say why it is withholding samples of the virus. But it, Thailand, and other developing countries have expressed concern that their H5N1 samples will be sent to Western nations, and used there to develop vaccines that citizens of the originating country won't be able to afford."
BUUUULLLSHIIT! Western nations using our bird flu to make vaccines too expensive for us to use!!! What a weak-assed attempt at sympathy-garnering geopolitics. Indonesia isn't a third world nation too poor to develop its own vaccines, it just has a shitty government!
This is all about trying to cover-up Indonesia's massive H5N1 problem. What's worse is that this decision does nothing to affect vaccine productions and only keeps the WHO from knowing what genetic changes are occurring in Indonesian bird flu!
The pandemic could already be starting and we wouldn't know because Indonesia doesn't trust the Western World with it's H5N1 samples. Simply outrageous.
In brighter news, however, the British Vet who had been tested for bird flu came back negative. Poor guy just has a regular flu.