Apr 9, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Atlanta yesterday to support the response to the H7N9 influenza outbreak in China, CDC officials said in an e-mailed statement today.
The EOC was activated at level 2, the second of three levels. Level 1, the highest, signals an agency-wide response. "This is a limited activation that allows for the use of additional resources and staff to meet the technical needs of a public health response," the agency said.
Activation was prompted because the novel H7N9 avian influenza virus has never been seen before in animals or humans and because reports from China have linked it to severe human disease, the agency said.
"Since this is an international outbreak, activation of the EOC provides resources, logistical support, and avenues of communication with international partners that make management of the situation easier," the CDC said, adding that it is collaborating closely with authorities in China and other countries.
"Additionally, in this stage of investigation and intense planning, activation of the EOC is intended to ensure that internal connections are developed and maintained and that CDC staff are kept informed and up to date with regard to the changing situation," the statement said.
Information on the number of personnel involved in the CDC response was not available at this writing.
Information on the CDC Web site says the last EOC response was for Japan's severe earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
CDC information on the EOC