CDC awards contract for worldwide flu virus fight

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a five year, multi-million dollar contract to New Zealand's Institute of Environmental Science and Research to combat the flu virus around the world.
The project is known as SHIVERS, or the Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance. The contract will be led by ESR with collaboration from the Universities of Auckland and Otago, the Auckland District Health Board and the World Health Organization's Collaborating Center at St. Jude's Hospital in the U.S., the New Zealand Herald reports.
Dr. Wayne Mapp, Australia's minister for Science and Innovation, and Health Minister Tony Ryall said that the successful bid is a recognition of the quality of the New Zealand scientists that work in this area.
"We had a glimpse of just how good the New Zealand teams are during the response to the swine flu pandemic in 2009, and this is an opportunity to make even greater advances in flu planning." Mapp and Ryall said, according to the New Zealand Herald. "The result will be greater knowledge about how the flu spreads, improved surveillance, and vaccination targets. And we will be helping the northern hemisphere plan for their flu season."
The CDC's mission is to collaborate to create the expertise, information and tools that communities and people need to protect their health through health promotion, the prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.