This article is part of the supplement: Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS): an update for 2009

Open Access Review

Department of Defense influenza and other respiratory disease surveillance during the 2009 pandemic

Ronald L Burke1*, Kelly G Vest1, Angelia A Eick1, Jose L Sanchez1, Matthew C Johns1, Julie A Pavlin2, Richard G Jarman2, Jerry L Mothershead3, Miguel Quintana4, Thomas Palys5, Michael J Cooper6, Jian Guan7, David Schnabel8, John Waitumbi8, Alisa Wilma9, Candelaria Daniels9, Matthew L Brown10, Steven Tobias11, Matthew R Kasper11, Maya Williams11, Jeffrey A Tjaden12, Buhari Oyofo12, Timothy Styles13, Patrick J Blair14, Anthony Hawksworth14, Joel M Montgomery15, Hugo Razuri15, Alberto Laguna-Torres15, Randal J Schoepp16, David A Norwood16, Victor H MacIntosh17, Thomas Gibbons17, Gregory C Gray18, David L Blazes1, Kevin L Russell1 and AFHSC-GEIS Influenza Surveillance Writing Group11112131415171922021222324358

Author Affiliations

1 Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

2 Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, 315/6 Rajavithi Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10400

3 Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA

4 Public Health Region-South, Building 2472, Schofield Road, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, USA

5 Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Department of Pathology and Area Laboratory Services, CMR 402, APO AE 09180, USA

6 Public Health Region-Europe, CMR 402, APO AE 09180, USA

7 Public Health Region-Pacific, Unit 45006, APO AE 96343, USA

8 U.S. Embassy, Attention: MRU, United Nations Avenue, Post Office Box 606, Village Market 00621 Nairobi, Kenya

9 Department of Defense Veterinary Food Analysis & Diagnostic Laboratory, 2472 Schofield Road, Suite 2630, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, USA

10 USAMEDDAC-Korea, Microbiology Section, Unit 15244, Box 459, APO AP 96205, USA

11 Naval Medical Research Unit Number 2, Kompleks Pergudangan DEPKES R.I., JI. Percetakan Negara II No. 23, Jakarta 10560, Indonesia

12 Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Extension of Ramses Street, Adjacent to Abbassia Fever Hospital, Postal Code 11517, Cairo, Egypt

13 U.S. Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit No. 2, 1887 Powhatan Street, Norfolk, VA 23511, USA

14 Naval Health Research Center, 140 Sylvester Road, San Diego, CA 92106, USA

15 Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Centro Medico Naval “CMST,” Av. Venezuela CDRA 36, Callao 2, Lima, Peru

16 U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Diagnostic Systems Division, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, MD 21702, USA

17 U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, 2513 Kennedy Circle, Building 180, Brooks City Base, TX 78235, USA

18 Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Post Office Box 100188, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

19 Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Unit, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA

20 Australian Army Malaria Institute, Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, QLD 4051, Australia

21 Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723, USA

22 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Suite 1100, Portsmouth, VA 23708, USA

23 Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Buea, Post Office Box 63, Buea, Cameroon

24 Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, 1 Sutter, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2011, 11(Suppl 2):S6  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-S2-S6

Published: 4 March 2011


The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center’s Division of Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (AFHSC-GEIS) supports and oversees surveillance for emerging infectious diseases, including respiratory diseases, of importance to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). AFHSC-GEIS accomplishes this mission by providing funding and oversight to a global network of partners for respiratory disease surveillance. This report details the system’s surveillance activities during 2009, with a focus on efforts in responding to the novel H1N1 Influenza A (A/H1N1) pandemic and contributions to global public health. Active surveillance networks established by AFHSC-GEIS partners resulted in the initial detection of novel A/H1N1 influenza in the U.S. and several other countries, and viruses isolated from these activities were used as seed strains for the 2009 pandemic influenza vaccine. Partners also provided diagnostic laboratory training and capacity building to host nations to assist with the novel A/H1N1 pandemic global response, adapted a Food and Drug Administration-approved assay for use on a ruggedized polymerase chain reaction platform for diagnosing novel A/H1N1 in remote settings, and provided estimates of seasonal vaccine effectiveness against novel A/H1N1 illness. Regular reporting of the system’s worldwide surveillance findings to the global public health community enabled leaders to make informed decisions on disease mitigation measures and controls for the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic. AFHSC-GEIS’s support of a global network contributes to DoD’s force health protection, while supporting global public health.