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Combating the free movement of micro-organisms

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 27 October 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:986
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

    Zsuzsanna Jakab, the head of the new European centre for disease control, tells Rory Watson that the centre should enable Europe to mount a more coordinated response to the threat from avian flu than it managed to the SARS epidemic

    The Stockholm based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is a rarity among the many specialised European Union agencies that give advice to policy makers. Legislation approving its creation was passed in a record eight months and the choice of the Swedish capital as its home was made without the national bickering that usually accompanies such decisions.

    With the spread of avian influenza and the extra urgency that this has brought for the development of pandemic preparedness programmes, it now finds itself at the centre of attention within days of moving from temporary offices in a Stockholm suburb to a nearby university campus that also houses the Karolinska Institute and the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control.

    Zsuzsanna Jakab: “We have to have a much more coordinated and integrated approach” to threat from avian flu

    Credit: PAWEL FLATO

    Zsuzsanna Jakab, a Hungarian born health specialist who was appointed the centre's director last December, is coping with the managerial challenge she faces. “We have to build up the centre from scratch, because when I took up my job on …

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