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Summary of Recommendations of the CISET Working Group
An interagency Government working group on emerging infectious diseases was formed in December
1994 under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on
International Science, Engineering, and Technology (CISET). Led by CDC, the Department of State,
USAID, Food and Drug Administration, NIH, and the Department of Defense, the working group makes
the following recommendations for action by the U.S. Government.
Work in partnership with other countries, with WHO, and with other
international organizations to improve
worldwide disease surveillance, reporting, and response by
Establishing regional disease surveillance and response networks linking national health ministries, WHO
regional offices, U.S. Government laboratories and field stations abroad, foreign laboratories and
medical centers, WHO Collaborating Centers, and WHO.
Ensuring that reliable lines of communication exist between local and national medical centers and
between national and regional or international reference facilities, especially in parts of the world where
modern communications are lacking.
Developing a global alert system whereby national governments can inform appropriate worldwide health
authorities of outbreaks of infectious diseases in a timely manner, and whereby individual health
authorities can access regional centers.
Identifying regional and international resources that can provide diagnostic reagents for low incidence
diseases and help identify rare and unusual diseases.
Assisting WHO to establish global surveillance of antibiotic resistance and drug use, as a first-step toward
the development of international agreements on antibiotic usage.
Encouraging and assisting other countries to make infectious disease detection and control a national
Preserving existing U.S. Government activities that enhance other countries abilities to prevent and
control emerging and re-emerging health threats.
Identifying and strengthening WHO Collaborating Centers that serve as unique reference centers for
diseases whose re-emergence is feared.
Establishing the authority of relevant U.S. Government agencies to make the most effective use of their
expertise in building a worldwide disease surveillance and response network.
Strengthen the U.S. capacity to combat emerging infectious diseases by
Enhancing collaborations among U.S. agencies to ensure maximum use of existing resources for
domestic and international surveillance and response activities. Supporting the G7-initiated project on
public health care applications of the Global Information Infrastructure, entitled "Toward a Global Public
Rebuilding the U.S. infectious disease surveillance public health infrastructure at the local, state, and
Working with the private and public sectors to improve U.S. capacity for the emergency production of
diagnostic tests, drugs, and vaccines.
Supporting an active community of epidemiologists, clinical investigators, laboratory scientists, health
experts, and behavioral scientists ready and able to seek new solutions for new disease threats.
Strengthening technical training programs in disciplines related to infectious disease surveillance and
Providing accurate and timely health information to private citizens and health providers, both in the
United States and abroad, when a disease outbreak occurs.
Strengthening infectious disease screening and quarantine efforts at ports of entry into the United
Strengthening the training of American physicians and microbiologists in the recognition of tropical
diseases and in travel medicine in general.
Establishing an Interagency Task Force to coordinate the implementation of these recommendations.
Establishing a private sector subcommittee of the Interagency Task Force that includes representatives
of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, medical practitioners and educators, and biomedical scientists.