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WHO - Updated public health resource pack for countries experiencing outbreaks of influenza in animals published! 30 March 2024

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  • WHO - Updated public health resource pack for countries experiencing outbreaks of influenza in animals published! 30 March 2024

    30 March 2024

    Reading time: 1 min (358 words) Human infections with animal influenza viruses, though rare, have been reported sporadically. Recently, there have been increasing reports of deadly outbreaks among mammals with mainly influenza A(H5N1) viruses. Several countries in Central and South America were confronted for the first time with introduction of H5N1 viruses in their country. This resource provides WHO country offices and national institutions with an update of the key information needed to advise countries during influenza outbreaks or detections in animals.

    The publication has chapters on the roles of the animal and public health sectors in reducing human exposure to animal influenza viruses and reducing the risk of human infections, risk communication, food safety, surveillance for human cases, and collecting samples from and clinical management of suspected human cases. It was developed with technical input from partners at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and the Joint WOAH-FAO Scientific Network on Animal Influenza (OFFLU), as well as subject matter experts within and outside of WHO.

    Prevention and control measures in animals will minimize the circulation of animal influenza viruses, thus reducing the risk of zoonotic human infections and disease. Such measures should be developed and implemented in an integrated way, with the public and animal health sectors working together at all levels, applying a One Health approach.

    Reducing human exposure to animal influenza viruses and preventing human disease should focus on the interface between humans, animals and the environment. When outbreaks or detections in animals are reported, surveillance to detect possible human cases should be intensified

    If a person is suspected of having zoonotic influenza, the health authorities should be notified, and appropriate clinical case management provided.

    When human infections do occur, they must be investigated and monitored closely. A thorough investigation and immediate public health actions should be implemented. The important role of risk communication and community engagement is highlighted, including messaging to general public and at-risk groups, specific messages for culling activities, food safety and drinking water and the role of vaccination for humans.

    Link: Public health resource pack for countries experiencing outbreaks of influenza in animals: revised guidance
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    https://www.who.int/news/item/30-03-...mals-published!
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