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Vaccine. 2002 May 15;20 Suppl 2:S63-5.

Preparing for pandemic influenza: the need for enhanced surveillance.

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Division of Disease Control, Augusta, ME 04333, USA.


In the US, planning for the next influenza pandemic is occurring in parallel at the national, state and local levels. Certain issues, such as conducting surveillance and purchasing pandemic vaccine, require co-ordination at the national level. However, most prevention and control actions will be implemented at the state and local levels, which vary widely in terms of population demographics, culture (e.g. rural versus urban) and available resources. In 1995, a survey by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) found that only 29 (59%) states perceived a need to develop a specific influenza pandemic plan for their jurisdiction. Since then, the process of developing state and local plans has gained considerable momentum. Integration of these efforts with the national planning process has been facilitated by: (1) the mutual involvement of state and federal staff in both processes; (2) the sharing of draft documents; (3) the ongoing occurrence of local and national co-ordinating meetings; (4) the provision of financial resources by the federal government. So far, approximately 12 states either have drafted or begun drafting a state and local influenza pandemic plan. One of the benefits of the collaborative planning process has been the development of new working relationships and partnerships among several agencies at the state, local and national levels. Such efforts will improve our collective ability to rapidly investigate and control other emerging or re-emerging public health threats in the 21st century, be it a bioterrorist event, pandemic influenza, or any other catastrophic health event.

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