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Public health: surveillance and control of communicable diseases

At the initiative of Mr. Padraig Flynn, Commissioner responsible for health and social affairs, the European Commission has proposed the creation of a network for the epidemiological surveillance of communicable diseases in the EU.

The aim is to improve the prevention and con...
At the initiative of Mr. Padraig Flynn, Commissioner responsible for health and social affairs, the European Commission has proposed the creation of a network for the epidemiological surveillance of communicable diseases in the EU.

The aim is to improve the prevention and control of a number of serious communicable diseases which necessitate the introduction of special measures for the protection of the population. The Commission's proposal seeks to create a legal framework for the setting up of a system of close cooperation and effective coordination between Member States on communicable disease surveillance. The system would function both routinely and in emergencies.

The Commission considers that the absence of a coordinated and effective reaction, at European level, during the recent outbreaks of plague in India and the Ebola virus in Zaire demonstrates the need for this initiative. This absence could be detrimental to the citizens of Europe, the health authorities, the economic decision-makers and the economy overall.

Talks are taking place between the European Union and the United States with a view to establishing a global system of early detection and a network to respond to outbreaks of epidemics of communicable diseases.
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