Nature: More flu surveillance needed
Live chickens are sold in the Ha Giang province of Vietnam, where avian flu has reemerged.
March 29th, 2012
07:01 AM ET

Nature: More flu surveillance needed

An analysis from Nature shows that there's not as much flu surveillance as you might think.

There were about 1,000 flu sequences from 400 avian virus samples collected in 2010, yet the world poultry population was 21 billion, the journal reported Wednesday. Countries such as Indonesia, Russia, India and Mexico contributed few samples to an international virus database despite large poultry populations. Brazil, with a poultry population of 1.27 billion, did not collect any avian flu samples - nor did Morocco, the Philippines, Colombia, Ecuador, Algeria, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

The Nature report characterizes surveillance generally as ad hoc and reactive, responding to outbreaks or temporary projects rather than being consistent. That's a problem because global threats can emerge from a flu virus at any moment.

Nature looked at avian and pig flu records at the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information's Influenza Virus Sequence Database between 2003 and 2011. This includes all subtypes of flu, not just the avian flu pandemic candidate H5N1.

The database has seen a general increase in flu sequences deposited, but most of those sequences come from samples collected before 2003 or from the mid-2000s during an unusually prolific virus collection phase.

Sylvie van der Werf, head of the Molecular Genetics of RNA Viruses lab at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, told Nature that there can be a huge time lag between the collection and sequencing of flu virus samples. The reason for this includes lack of funding for sequencing, although these costs are decreasing. And there's a lot of sequencing going on in retrospective research studies. And researchers often don't share their sequences until after they have published data about them.

Sequences of such viruses should be given to public databases within three months, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health.

Dr. Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said he agrees that surveillance needs a boost.

"Influenza surveillance is insufficient and inefficient," he wrote in an e-mail. "International leadership and commitment are key to mitigating the threat of pandemic influenza to human health and food security."

Data from two experiments on the highly infectious H5N1 avian influenza are still on hold amid concerns that they could be used for terrorist purposes. A WHO committee said in February that these studies should be published in their full form, but did not decide when.

Also last month, a study suggested that the death rate of H5N1 may be overblown.

soundoff (610 Responses)
  1. Transit Van Repair Panels


    May 16, 2021 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mercedes Sprinter Repair

    Great blog you've got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    May 16, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Authorized Mercedes Benz Service Centers Near Me


    May 17, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dodge Sprinter Repair Shop


    May 17, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sprinter Return Line Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 06:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dodge Sprinter Step Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mercedes Sprinter Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Chevy Venture Van Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 2010 Sprinter Seat Belt Buckle Repair

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉


    May 17, 2021 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Maserati Va Beach


    May 17, 2021 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 2006 Sprinter 3500 Repair Near Me

    Hello, I think your site could possibly be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful website!


    May 17, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. orange county ca rv parks

    You made some good points there. I looked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    May 17, 2021 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. motor home furnishings

    I enjoy reading an article that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    May 17, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. toilet repair near me

    After exploring a few of the blog articles on your web page, I seriously appreciate your technique of blogging. I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.


    May 18, 2021 at 05:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. heating & air conditioning service near me

    bookmarked!!, I love your site!


    May 18, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Local Commercial Roof Restoration

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Kudos!


    May 18, 2021 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Maserati Woodland Hills


    May 18, 2021 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Is Maserati A Good Car

    I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your content. Your article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 18, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Digital Marketing Specialist


    May 18, 2021 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Content Marketing Program


    May 19, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. prescription energy pills

    I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own blog and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Kudos!


    May 19, 2021 at 03:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Local Marketing Association


    May 19, 2021 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Internet Marketing Clinic

    There's certainly a great deal to learn about this topic. I love all of the points you've made.


    May 19, 2021 at 06:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Ray Ban Retailers Near Me

    Good article! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    May 19, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Best Rated Eye Doctors Near Me

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but typically folks don't discuss these topics. To the next! Many thanks!!


    May 19, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jet Ski Rental Lake Mead


    May 19, 2021 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. camping trailer repair near me

    I really like reading through an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!


    May 19, 2021 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mercedes Sprinter Cowl Panel Rust Repair

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!


    May 19, 2021 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Red Van Repair


    May 19, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. anything rv service center

    You are so cool! I do not believe I've read through a single thing like that before. So wonderful to discover somebody with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the web, someone with a little originality!


    May 19, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Seats Orange County

    You have made some decent points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    May 19, 2021 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Parts Los Angeles

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this information to him. Pretty sure he'll have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    May 19, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Google Marketing Specialist


    May 19, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Content Marketing Companies


    May 19, 2021 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Social Media Marketing Companies Near Me


    May 20, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Local Marketing Firms

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 20, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Digital Marketing Company Near Me


    May 20, 2021 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Digital Marketing Businesses


    May 20, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Digital Marketing Firm

    Your style is unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this site.


    May 20, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    You're so cool! I don't think I've read something like this before. So wonderful to find another person with original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    May 20, 2021 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Paint Shop Near Me


    May 20, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. paint repair shops near me

    I enjoy looking through an article that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    May 20, 2021 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. trailer repair orange county


    May 20, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Digital Marketing Consultant Near Me


    May 20, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Internet Marketing Firm


    May 20, 2021 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. remodel rv bathroom


    May 21, 2021 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. certified rv repair

    It’s difficult to find experienced people for this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 21, 2021 at 00:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Handicapped Van Repair

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this matter here on your website.


    May 21, 2021 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Tires Riverside


    May 21, 2021 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. camper restoration near me

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!


    May 21, 2021 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

March 2012
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.