Published Date: 2004-05-16 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> OIE: new animal disease notification system
Archive Number: 20040516.1319
OIE: NEW ANIMAL DISEASE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004
From: Shamsudeen Fagbo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: OIE internet site - Editorial, accessed 15 May 2004 [edited]
The OIE paves the way for a new animal disease notification system
Resolutions passed by the International Committee (IC) and recommendations
issued by the Regional Commissions have instructed the OIE Central Bureau
to establish a single OIE list of notifiable terrestrial animal diseases to
replace the current Lists A and B. The aim in drawing up a single list is
to be in line with the terminology of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary
Agreement (SPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), by classifying
diseases as specific hazards and giving all listed diseases the same degree
of importance in international trade.
In creating a single list of notifiable diseases, the OIE is faced with 2
1) to define criteria for including a disease in the OIE single list that
are acceptable to the majority of Member Countries, respect the criteria
set out in the resolutions of the Committee (more specifically Resolution
XXIII of May 2001) and are in line with the OIE's other goals and missions;
2) to define criteria for the degree of 'urgency' of each reporting.
I therefore convened an Ad hoc Group on Terrestrial Animal
Disease/Pathogenic Agent Notification, comprised of internationally
renowned experts, to support the OIE Animal Health Information Department
in defining criteria to determine whether a given disease should be
included in the OIE list. This was also the occasion to conduct a thorough
review of the OIE's animal health information system, aimed at making
improvements and adapting it to meet the new requirements of a single list
(frequency of reporting, nature of the information to be collected, on-line
report forms, etc.).
The proposed criteria for a disease to be included in the OIE single list
were kept to a minimum and consist of easily definable factors applicable
world-wide. The overriding criterion for a disease to be listed is its
potential for international spread. Other criteria include a capacity for
significant spread within naive populations and the zoonotic potential.
Each criterion is linked to measurable parameters: if a disease fulfills at
least one of these parameters, then it becomes notifiable.
Under the future OIE notification system, not only the disease but other
related events will require urgent notification. All events of
epidemiological significance must be notified immediately to the OIE, as
laid down in Article 188.8.131.52. of Chapter 1.1.3. on 'notification and
epidemiological information' of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code. These
changes will improve the efficiency of the OIE early warning system for the
benefit of the international community.
The events of epidemiological significance that should be notified
immediately are as follows:
- the 1st occurrence of a listed disease or infection in a country or
compartment ['Compartment': autonomous epidemiological entity defined on
the basis of either geography (zone) or management (enterprise) for the
purpose of international trade (cf. Art. 184.108.40.206. of the Terrestrial Animal
Health Code, OIE, 2003)].
- the re-occurrence of a listed disease or infection in a country or
compartment following a report by the Delegate of the Member Country
declaring the outbreak closed;
- the 1st occurrence of a new strain of a pathogen of a listed disease in a
country or compartment;
- a sudden and unexpected increase in morbidity or mortality caused by an
existing listed disease;
- emerging diseases with significant morbidity/mortality or zoonotic potential;
- evidence of a change in the epidemiology of a listed disease (including
host range, pathogenicity, strain of causative pathogen), in particular if
there is a zoonotic impact.
Proposals have also been made to adapt the OIE's information system to the
single list, involving changes in the frequency with which Member Countries
should submit regular reports to the OIE, namely 6-monthly and annual.
However, in this context there will be a significant increase in the number
of emergency and follow-up reports submitted.
Implementing these changes will mean completely redesigning the existing
animal health information system, which will need to take full advantage of
all the possibilities offered by the latest information and communication
technology, including mapping software.
The timetable for implementing the new system is as follows:
- May 2004, discussion and adoption by the IC of the new criteria for
categorising diseases, the current list (combination of Lists A and B)
being kept without any changes;
- January 2005, effective suppression of Lists A and B and implementation
of the new notification system;
- May 2005, discussion and adoption by the IC of the new OIE list of
diseases, resulting from the application of the criteria adopted in May 2004.
Should unforeseen circumstances lead to delays in the setting up of the new
system, Member Countries will of course be kept informed.
Director general, OIE
[These changes, and others, in OIE reporting are long overdue and therefore
most welcome. For myself I do hope that the new reporting system will have
a GIS dimension so that outbreaks can be mapped ... an outbreak in the
middle of France has a very different weight to one on the Belgian border,
for example. The aspacial reporting has long been a major weakness in the OIE
reporting system. - Mod.MHJ]