Sep 11, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – US officials have resolved what they’re calling a lapse in communication that has contributed to China’s delay in sending promised poultry samples of H5N1 avian influenza virus to the United States.Early last week, a Chinese agricultural official told news services that Beijing was still working out a protocol for sharing poultry H5N1 samples with the international community, even though the government had promised in March to provide up to 20 samples for analysis in World Health Organization (WHO)-affiliated laboratories.After the announcement, the newspaper China Daily reported that the agriculture ministry had blamed a US lab for the delay, saying the lab did not complete required import procedures. A WHO representative, however, told Agence France-Presse last week that logistical arrangements were already in place.Kathy Harben, a spokesperson on global issues for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the Associated Press (AP) Sep 8 that the samples were delayed because China and the CDC had problems agreeing whether the samples should be classified as diagnosed or undiagnosed.Packing and handling procedures are the same for both, but Harben said the CDC preferred the samples be shipped as “undiagnosed” because the forms and approval process for such samples take less time. She said the approval process for “diagnosed” samples, the classification preferred by the Chinese agriculture ministry, could take weeks.China and the CDC agreed to have the samples shipped as “diagnosed,” Harben told the AP, and said she expected that the CDC would receive the samples by the end of September.Harben told CIDRAP News today that officials are still working out details about what samples are coming. “We’ll know more later,” she said.The CDC routinely works with China’s health ministry whenever it receives human H5N1 samples; however, Harben said receiving poultry samples is rare and has been somewhat more difficult because CDC officials are making arrangements with a different branch of government, the agriculture ministry.China has not shared avian flu virus samples from poultry since late 2004, according to recent news reports. Poultry H5N1 viruses, especially those from China, are needed to develop vaccines and drugs.
By John O’BrienSINGAPORE, (Reuters)-Germany’s Nico Rosberg celebrated his 200th Formula One race by retaking the championship lead from Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton after a pole to flag win in Singapore yesterday.After a chaotic start that brought out a safety car on the opening lap, Rosberg stayed clear of Red Bull’s late-charging Daniel Ricciardo at the floodlit Marina Bay Street Circuit.Triple world champion Hamilton completed the podium in third place.“The whole car was on the edge, it always is here in Singapore, so it’s very satisfying to finish like that,” Rosberg told reporters.The German’s third victory in a row, and 22nd of his career, lifted Rosberg on to 273 points, eight clear of Hamilton, with six rounds remaining and Australia’s Ricciardo a distant third on 179 in the title race.Rosberg’s win was his eighth of the season and first in Singapore, a grand prix that has only been won by world champions until now.The German had started two points behind Hamilton and, despite leading comfortably halfway though the race, crossed the line just 0.488 seconds ahead of Ricciardo after having to complete the last 28 laps on the same soft tyres.Red Bull opted for a bold tyre strategy to put pressure on Rosberg late on and Ricciardo was eating into the advantage at roughly three seconds a lap in the closing stages but ran out of road before the chequered flag.“Of course Daniel tried to pull one up on me with the pitstop at the end, we knew it was going to be tight but we got there so I’m very happy,” added Rosberg, who opened a 43-point lead on Hamilton at the start of the season before falling behind when the Briton won six of seven races.OVERHEATING BRAKESHamilton had his own private battle with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen behind the leading duo, the Briton losing third place to the Finn after a mistake on lap 34 but reclaiming the position with a timely pit stop to hold on to the finish.“This weekend has been a tricky one for me but I’m just happy to get on the podium and get some points for the team,” Hamilton said.“The brakes were way overheating so I had to slow down. Once I did my second or third stop we managed to sort it out.”Last year’s race winner Sebastian Vettel drove brilliantly from last on the starting grid to claim fifth place in the other Ferrari, the German coming home ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso in a McLaren.The safety car was deployed immediately after the start when Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India, eighth on the grid, suffered a heavy crash after making contact with Carlos Sainz’s Toro RossoRosberg got away cleanly to lead from Ricciardo, with Hamilton in third and Raikkonen behind him after Verstappen suffered a woeful start to slip back to eighth from fourth on the grid.The race restarted and Rosberg would have been startled to see a marshal at the end of the start-finish straight picking up debris, the man just managing to get off the circuit before the Mercedes reached him.There were no more safety cars, throughout a 61-lap race that has yet to be completed without one, but the different tyre strategies of the leading cars made for a tactical and exciting race on a circuit that offers very few overtaking opportunities.Mexican Sergio Perez was eighth for Force India with Russian Daniil Kvyat ninth for Toro Rosso.Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen scored the final point for Renault in only the second finish in the points for the team this season.