CDC releases report on worldwide influenza projects

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an annual report on Monday profiling a variety of CDC influenza-related projects from around the world, including epidemiology training, vaccine effectiveness studies and flu surveillance.

The CDC began its international flu efforts in 1997 when the agency investigated the first human infections with the H5N1 avian flu virus in Hong Kong. When H5N1 re-emerged in Asia in 2003 and 2004, the agency made an effort to strengthen its gaps in epidemiologic, laboratory and surveillance capacity, CIDRAP News reports.

“(In 2004, the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services) developed a multi-faceted approach to support global capacity for seasonal influenza and pandemic preparedness,” the report said, according to CIDRAP News.

According to the 268 page report, the efforts showed progress during the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009. Many countries that received CDC help demonstrated improved flu response and surveillance.

“Over the past six years the (international) program has undergone remarkable growth and has expanded to provide support to over 40 countries, all WHO regional offices and WHO headquarters,” the report said, according to CIDRAP News.

The report outlines projects the CDC reports in approximately 40 countries and details specific studies, international training conferences and diagnostic test kit sharing programs. The report also includes a long list of flu projects on which the CDC collaborated with the World Health Organization and a 44- age detailed explanation of research projects being supported in multiple countries.

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