Establishing the Global Influenza Surveillance System
The Beginning of a World-Wide Plan to Monitor Influenza: The Global Influenza Programme
Influenza vaccine production requires continuous monitoring to know which influenza viruses are currently circulating and to identify new influenza viruses. Widespread influenza surveillance was undertaken by several institutions in the mid-20th century, and continues today.
In 1947, the World Health Organization (WHO) gathered a panel of experts to propose solutions to prevent pandemic influenza. The panel recommended establishing a Global Influenza Programme to collect and study influenza viruses, distribute information, and coordinate laboratory work on a global scale. In 1948, the Global Influenza Programme was approved, and The World Influenza Centre was established in London to serve as a global reference laboratory. By 1952, the Global Influenza Programme had developed into a worldwide network of laboratories called the Global Influenza Surveillance Network.
As CDC gained national and global prominence, WHO selected CDC to serve as a WHO Collaborating Center for Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Influenza in 1956. In 1957, when another influenza pandemic emerged, CDC took a leading role in influenza control.