Mar 12, 2014 – Monitoring Flu

March 12, 2014

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Health newsfeed for Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ANCHOR LEAD:  A ROBUST INFRASTRUCTURE EXISTS TO IDENTIFY NEW FLU STRAINS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Most novel flu strains arise in and around Asia, then make their way around the globe.  Now a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports on how China has developed a robust infrastructure to monitor and analyze emerging flu strains.  Michael Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has seen one center firsthand and applauds the effort.

KLAG: The technology that they had was incredible, they had an incident command center, wall size video screen where you could have live feeds from ambulances, you could have data feeds, it was really impressive. The reason for that of course is SARS, because the experience with SARS was so concerning where we saw this rapid spread of SARS, within 24 hours of a case in Asia it was in Toronto, so they have invested very heavily and wisely in surveillance.   :27

Klag says the entire world is benefiting from China’s efforts to quickly identify new flu strains, so effective vaccines and interventions can be expediently developed.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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