The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday handed over H5N1 human case isolates to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Two strains of bird flu isolated from human infections in China were forwarded to Dr. Shigeru Omi, WHO western Pacific regional director, by Wang Yu, director of the Chinese CDC, along with relevant virus information on Chinese human cases.
Offered to the organization for further research, the strains will help trace the virus' mutation and develop anti-retroviral drugs. It is a major contribution made by China to the global fight against the epidemic, said Omi.
Omi said good collaboration in the international community will be crucial in dealing with the immense challenge posed by bird flu, and China, as one of the centers of the global fight, can play an important role in this regard.
Chinese experts will join in the WHO's research of these isolates.
On his visit to the Chinese National Influenza Center, also on Tuesday, Omi was introduced to the monitoring, lab testing and control of human bird flu.
China has announced six human cases of bird flu since November 16, including at least two fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health.
Lab tests show that the genotype of H5N1 seen in human bird flu infections in China are different from those spotted in humans in Vietnam, indicating that the virus has mutated.