Declan Butler, reporter This is the personal blog of Declan Butler, a senior reporter at Nature. All views expressed here are mine, and not those of Nature. Contact me at

July 15, 2006

Media pickup of Indonesia sequences

Filed under: avian influenza,Open data — admin @ 11:19 pm

My article on the Indonesia flu mutations has generated a fair bit of press coverage, making the front page of Google News — see here. Reuters, and many other media outlets, have picked up on it also, but the best article I’ve seen so far I think is this one, which gives balanced credit to both WHO’s core data needs in handling outbreaks, while also discussing its difficulties in making data more widely available. Le Monde also has good coverage — in French, as has CIDRAP.

The article has also generated considerable discussion in the blogosphere — see for example, the comments here.

I think the issues re access to flu data are now well known, and to WHO’s credit, I should say that when I interviewed Paul Gully — a former senior official of the Public Health Agency of Canada, who was recently seconded to be a senior advisor to Margaret Chan, head of WHO’s pandemic influenza efforts — for the article, he was extremely frank with me on every aspect of this story, and I hope I got across his points adequately. Credit should be given where credit is due.

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