Thank you for the excellent May 9 editorial “Global flu,” about the importance of transparency and collective action during influenza outbreaks. It is true that China has responded better to H7N9 than it did to the SARS outbreak in 2003. One reason is that the international rules for disease outbreaks are stronger now than they were then. Since the revised International Health Regulations took effect in 2007, countries have been obligated to tell and to share. China met its obligation.
Others have, too. In September, Saudi Arabia told about the novel coronavirus that has killed about three-fifths of the 33 people it is known to have infected. And Cambodia did likewise in July about an outbreak of what turned out to be hand, foot and mouth disease.