Published Date: 2004-07-16 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> Avian influenza - Eastern Asia (93): WHO statement
Archive Number: 20040716.1935
AVIAN INFLUENZA - EASTERN ASIA (93): WHO STATEMENT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 16 Jul 2004
From: Marianne Hopp <email@example.com>
Source: World Health Organization (WHO), CSR, Disease Outbreak News, Fri 16
Jul 2004 [edited]
Avian influenza: (a) necessary precautions to prevent human infection; (b)
need for sharing isolates
WHO continues to be concerned by the simultaneous outbreaks of Highly
Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) virus infection [in poultry] in several
Asian countries. (Ref: Avian influenza - Current evaluation of risks to
humans from H5N1 following recent reports
While these outbreaks, thus far, remain restricted to poultry populations,
they nevertheless increase the chances of virus transmission and human
infection, as well as the possible emergence of a new influenza virus
strain capable of sparking a global pandemic.
In this context, WHO re-emphasizes the necessity of protecting individuals
involved in the culling of H5N1-infected poultry. Workers, who might be
exposed to H5N1-infected poultry, should have proper personal protective
equipment (i.e. protective clothing, masks, and goggles), since there is a
high risk of exposure during the slaughtering process.
In addition to the use of personal protective equipment, WHO is recommending:
(1) To avoid the co-infection of avian and human influenza, which could
allow for the emergence of a pandemic influenza virus, all persons involved
in mass-culling operations, transportation, and burial/incineration of
carcasses should be vaccinated with the current WHO-recommended influenza
(2) All persons exposed to infected poultry, or to farms under suspicion,
should be closely monitored by local health authorities. National
authorities should also increase their surveillance of any reported
clusters of influenza, or, influenza-like illnesses.
(3) Antiviral treatment should be available on an on-going basis for
treatment of a suspected human infection with a Highly Pathogenic Avian
Influenza virus. If antivirals are available in sufficient quantities,
prophylactic use should be considered.
Please see the full list of WHO's interim recommendations for the
protection of persons involved in the mass slaughter of animals potentially
infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza viruses.
WHO is also urging countries to work on standardizing procedures for
immediate sharing of all avian influenza virus strains, responsible for
outbreaks, with WHO's international network of laboratories.
WHO is depending on the continued collaboration of the national health and
agricultural services to establish routine procedures for immediate sharing
of avian influenza virus samples. Without such virus samples, WHO will not
be in a position to provide proper vaccine prototype strains, and related
guidance, for vaccine producers.