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Global Health Programs: International Influenza


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the scientific and programmatic foundation and leadership for the diagnosis, prevention, and control of influenza domestically and internationally.

Program Description

CDC, through the International Influenza Program, supports global surveillance to guide vaccine formulation and understand the burden and epidemiology of influenza. CDC also develops policy for the prevention and control of influenza; conducts state-of-the-art research to better understand the evolution, antigenicity, genetic properties, antiviral susceptibility, transmissibility, pathogenicity, immune response, and other characteristics of influenza viruses in order to develop better tools for preventing and controlling influenza; supports and conducts studies of the effectiveness of control and prevention measures; and provides international technical assistance for outbreak investigations, the expansion of laboratory and epidemiologic capacity, and training. The data and the technical support provided by CDC have allowed countries to understand the disease burden associated with influenza, the risk groups, and the most efficient vaccination strategies.

Because different countries have varying needs, the International Influenza Program provides a range of support to partners, such as help in improving disease and laboratory surveillance capacity, implementing activities to better understand the local burden of disease and potential impact of prevention strategies, and enhancing pandemic preparedness. By using surveillance data, countries can make informed decisions about investing in influenza prevention programs, such as immunization programs.

Where We Work

  • Supporting 47 countries via cooperative agreements as well as with WHO/Geneva and all WHO Regional Offices

Public Health Impact

CDC’s efforts in surveillance systems capacity building have directly led to increases in the number of countries participating in WHO’s Global Influenza Surveillance Network and in the number of influenza isolates sent to WHO collaborating centers for inclusion in the strain selection process for annual vaccine design.
  • With CDC support, countries were able to respond more rapidly and effectively to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and to other infectious disease threats in their countries.
  • The expansion of local and global data on the need for influenza prevention, along with steady global increases in vaccine supply, should result in expansion of the use of influenza vaccines worldwide.
  • The capacity that is being developed for laboratory and epidemiologic surveillance has served as the basis for the diagnosis and investigation of other infectious diseases beyond influenza. Evidence shows that the technical assistance provided assists countries in increasing their capacity necessary for compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005).
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  • Page last reviewed: April 18, 2011
  • Page last updated: April 18, 2011
  • Content source:

    Global Health
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