Monitoring Bird Flu
Influenza viruses are constantly changing, and thus require continued vigilance to protect the United States and the rest of the world not only from seasonal influenza but also from novel influenza A viruses that could trigger a pandemic. Global influenza surveillance, both epidemiologic and virologic, is the foundation of influenza preparedness and response for influenza viruses, including avian influenza viruses.
This work is conducted through the World Health Organization’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) which was established in 1952. The GISRS network consists of national influenza centers (NICS) which conduct influenza virus surveillance and study influenza disease trends. There also are a number of designated WHO Collaborating Centers (CCs) that conduct further research and analysis on information and samples gathered by the NICS.
CDC’s Influenza Division is the U.S. lead for influenza surveillance and has served as a WHO CC for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Control of Influenza since 1956. It is the largest global resource and reference center supporting public health interventions to control and prevent seasonal and pandemic influenza. Internationally, CDC also plays an important role in helping to establish, maintain and expand influenza surveillance and laboratory capacity in more than 50 countries around the world through the CDC Influenza Division International Program.