Influenza surveillance is important both on a local and a global basis for several reasons. Information obtained from surveillance is critical for the development and support of control and prevention strategies in China. Influenza surveillance in China also has serious global implications. It is known that China has been a source of new influenza strains, which include both “antigenic drifted” and “antigenic shifted” strains. Over the past 10 years, many of the vaccine strains recommended by WHO originated in China. Some of the pandemic strains are also thought to have originated from China. WHO, in collaboration with Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the US and National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan has provided technical and financial support to the Ministry of Health (MOH), China. Currently, provincial and municipal laboratories in 10 provinces are actively monitoring influenza viruses under the National Influenza Centre in Beijing. MOH, with technical assistance from WHO, is finalizing a National Influenza Surveillance Plan. Over the next 5 years, we can expect the number of surveillance laboratories to increase to as many as 20. An influenza disease surveillance system will also be established.
- World Health Organization
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