Shipping and logistic activities

Logistics is a key component of the function of the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). Logistics supports the smooth functioning of GISRS through providing advice, guidance and assistance with regards to shipping virus samples, provision of reagents and other laboratory supplies, and interaction with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), biosafety and courier service. It also includes the management of urgent shipments during outbreaks and other emergencies.

Logistics activities include:

  • Developing and updating guidance documents and recommendations on logistics for influenza laboratory operations, including sampling, transport of specimens and key laboratory equipment maintenance within GISRS.
  • Strengthening global laboratory specimen shipping capacity.
  • Providing assistance with key laboratory materials and products.
  • Monitoring and tracking with partners the global shipment of influenza reagents.
  • Facilitating workshops on shipping of infectious substances.
  • Providing ad hoc logistic technical expertise.

WHO Shipping Fund Project

The Shipping Fund Project provides shipping services for all National Influenza Centres who have shared their influenza specimens with the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System. Other national influenza laboratories may also be eligible to benefit from the project.

The project covers the cost of shipping specimens from the national laboratory to a WHO CC or a H5 Reference Laboratory. It also allows for the simplification of certain aspects of shipping infectious substances - for example: procedures for requesting the shipment of influenza specimens. In addition, logistic and technical support for the shipment are available from WHO Headquarters for the dispatching laboratory.

For detailed information please contact WHO Headquarters:

Shipments of infectious substances

WHO recommends that anyone shipping infectious substances undertakes a minimum of basic training in dangerous goods to ensure awareness of regulations, packaging and classification of specimens.

Therefore, WHO has developed and is able to provide training on infectious substances to National Influenza Centres and other national influenza laboratories.

Ad hoc support

On demand, we are providing ad hoc logistic technical expertise, guidance and field support to influenza laboratories in need. For example, where to get consumable materials to conduct routine specimen collection in order to timely expedite viruses and clinical specimens for testing by a WHO CC.