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Detecting a new pandemic virus

Continuous global surveillance of influenza is key to the early detection of a virus with pandemic potential. WHO has a network of more than 120 National Influenza Centres in over 90 countries that monitor influenza activity and isolate influenza viruses in every region of the world. National Influenza Centres report the detection of an "unusual" influenza virus immediately to the WHO Global Influenza Programme and one of the five WHO Collaborating Centres. Rapid detection of unusual influenza outbreaks, isolation of viruses with pandemic potential and immediate alert to WHO by national authorities is critical to a timely and efficient response.

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