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Scientists say USDA is sharing too little data too slowly on H5N1 flu

·1 min

When the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) publicly posted new data from its investigation into a bird flu outbreak in cattle, scientists searched for the information on a well-known global platform for sharing virus genetic sequences but couldn’t find it. They say the raw data provided by the USDA on a US server is not very useful or transparent. Concerns have been raised about the slow release of information regarding the outbreak that was confirmed in cattle almost a month ago. The H5N1 avian influenza strain has caused significant damage to bird populations and has shifted to infecting various mammals, including cows. However, little data on the US outbreak has been shared with the scientific community. The USDA uploaded raw sequencing data to a US database, lacking critical information necessary for tracking the virus’s evolution. Scientists are urging for more information and transparency to understand the full extent of the outbreak and its potential consequences.