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[Editorial] World Flu Day: momentum from China for influenza control

Nov 1 marks the first World Flu Day and was formally launched at the Asian-Pacific Centenary Spanish 1918-flu symposium in Shenzhen, China. The campaign was developed by George F Gao, director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with other leading influenza specialists, including Yoshihiro Kawaoka from University of Wisconsin, WI, USA, Mark von Itzstein from Griffith University, QLD, Australia, and Kwok-Yung Yuen from Hong Kong University, Hong Kong. Gao told The Lancet that World Flu Day had four major purposes: to commemorate the centenary of the 1918–19 influenza pandemic; to raise public awareness of influenza; to accelerate scientific innovation and basic research efforts toward remaining challenges of influenza, particularly the development of a universal flu vaccine; and to push for stronger global political will in continuing the support of influenza prevention and control.

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