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Pandemic Flu - Public Health Research Guide

This guide focuses on the law related to efforts in preventing, detecting and containing human influenza on the international, regional and national level.

Agencies Responsible for Emergency Preparedness & Responses


  • World Health Organization's (WHO) Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR) []
    The overall framework for EPR's strategy is the International Health Regulations (IHR) (for more information about IHR, check "Sources of Legal Authority" below). EPR focuses on the leading epidemic and emerging diseases. It develops and strengthens specific global surveillance and response networks for diseases such as influenza, meningococcal meningitis, plague, SARS, viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Lassa) and yellow fever. EPR's epidemic intelligence system gathers and verifies outbreak information daily from around the world and coordinates international responses to outbreaks of global importance, under its operational arm, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. EPR also supports the strengthening of national capacity for alert and response.
  • WHO's Global Influenza Programme
    Part of WHO's Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR).
  • Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES)
    Established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1994, the EMPRES-Livestock programme plays a major role in the fight against persisting and/or spreading transboundary animal diseases such as mad cow disease and avian flu at a global level, with emphasis on developing countries through international co-operation involving early warning, early reaction, enabling research, and coordination.



  • European Union Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

  • European Influenza Surveillance Network (EISS)
    Funded by the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General, European Commission EISS collects and exchanges timely information on influenza activity; contributes to the annual determination of the influenza vaccine content, providing relevant information about influenza to health professionals and the general public and the general public and contributes to European influenza pandemic preparedness.


United States - Federal

Many federal agencies are responsible for various aspects of emergency preparedness and response. The HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan (November 2005) prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services provides a summary of major pandemic preparedness roles of HHS officials, agencies and divisons (Table 3). The section on HHS Actions for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response summarizes key actions and responsible agencies by pandemic phase. Roles played by other federal departments are not detailed in the plan, nor are the coordination and communication amongst departments and agencies. A brief description of the roles played by HHS officials, agencies and divisions is as follows. For a more detailed list, please refer toTable 3 of the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan (November 2005):

United States - State