The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regrets the recent delays in the transfer of avian influenza virus samples from China's Ministry of Agriculture to CDC, according to a press statement released on Saturday by the U.S. embassy in China.
The press release said that following communications over the past 24 hours, import procedures for samples are now in place and the U.S. CDC looks forward to receiving the viruses.
The U.S. CDC is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and a collaborating center on the study of avian influenza with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The press release pointed out that the HHS/CDC very much appreciates the willingness of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to share the virus samples and will work with relevant scientific colleagues in China to "acknowledge their contribution to the world's understanding of the H5N1 influenza virus".
Official with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, speaking on condition of anonymity said that the China National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory has sound cooperation with the WHO in exchanging information of relevant virus samples.
China has provided five isolated virus samples to the WHO since 2004, said the ministry official.
He said necessary formalities should be "properly handled" when the samples are transferred from one country to anther because the import of such samples should be in compliance with relevant laws and regulations of the import country.