About – Overview
The International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (isirv) is an independent and international scientific professional society promoting the prevention, detection, treatment, and control of influenza and other respiratory virus diseases.
Isirv was founded in 2005 as the first scientific society with a fully worldwide remit focussed on influenza and respiratory virus disease. A particular stimulus for its creation was also the need for an organisation to ensure continuation of the Options for the Control of Influenza conferences which were growing ever larger.
Influenza and acute respiratory virus disease is a field of public health of major international importance. Recent epidemiological events - the 2009 pandemic of H1N1 influenza, first identified in Mexico; the occurrence of human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in China; the emergence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV); and ongoing outbreaks of virulent avian influenza A(H5N1) in several countries; continue to highlight the requirement for international collaboration on respiratory virus research and development.
These ongoing events serve as a reminder of the importance of clinical and laboratory research, scientific communication and global collaboration to contribute to the early detection and containment of respiratory virus outbreaks.
The Mission of isirv embedded in its statutory documents is:
The relief of sickness and the preservation of health by promoting the prevention, detection, treatment
and control of influenza and other respiratory virus diseases throughout the world
As a global scientific society isirv fulfils this mission through promoting the exchange and dissemination of information, facilitating the interaction of scientists and of public health specialists, and the promotion of international collaborative efforts against these diseases.
These aims are achieved though:
- Options for the Control of Influenza conferences: Held once every three years, these are key flagship events for researchers and practitioners in influenza. They are the largest international scientific conferences exclusively devoted to influenza prevention, control and treatment, including seasonal flu and pandemic preparedness.
- Other Scientific Meetings: A range of smaller meetings on more specific topics are arranged. In recent years these have included Respiratory Pathogens; Neglected Influenza Viruses; Novel Antiviral Therapies; and Incidence, Severity and Impact of Influenza and other Respiratory Diseases.
- Training Events: isirv is especially concerned to promote the development of young researchers. It arranges week long ‘Schools’ bringing together early career individuals with leading, established personalities in the field. Occasional training seminars on specific techniques are also organised, most recently on Genetic Analyses of Influenza Viruses.
- The Journal Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses (IRV): With IRV, respiratory disease researchers have a scientific journal and forum specific to their interests. Founded shortly after the creation of isirv, it is already well-established and with a steadily rising Impact Factor.
- Special Interest Groups: SIGs have been created by members with specific areas of interest within the overall field of respiratory disease. There are currently three such groups: the Antiviral Group (AVG), Epidemiology, and Neglected Influenza Viruses.
- The Website: This site is being developed to provide additional services that will help isirv members increase scientific interaction, collaboration and exchange.