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Indonesia Negotiating Sale of Avian Flu Virus

A World Health Organization representative announced that Indonesia has stopped sending samples of the avian flu virus to the W.H.O. and is apparently forming a contract with an American vaccine company instead.

Sources say that a spokesperson from Baxter Healthcare of Deerfield, Ill., did not tell the country to stop sending samples to the W.H.O.

"The W.H.O. should be their biggest friend," Dr. Arnold S. Monto, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, said. He calls the negotiations "counterproductive."

The W.H.O. considers the Indonesian strain of the avian flu a crucial player in the quest to develop vaccines for the virus that has infected 81 Indonesians and killed 63 of them.