EID Weekly Updates:
Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, Region of the Americas
Vol. 2, No. 9—4 March 2004
Since our last update of 26 February 2004, 1 new human case of avian influenza has been reported, bringing the total to 33 cases and 22 deaths. To date, 2 Asian countries have reported human cases; and 8 countries, epizootics of Influenza A Subtype H5N1 in birds. The outbreaks detected in the 2 states in the USA and 1 province in Canada are now laboratory confirmed and do not correspond to highly pathogenic Avian Influenza A Subtype H5N1 currently circulating in Asia.
This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the WHO Interim Guidelines on Clinical Management of Humans Infected by Influenza A (H5N1), based on present knowledge on avian influenza H5N1 (and subject to modification as more knowledge is gained on how the disease works among humans). The objectives of the guidelines are as follows:
Additional information is available at
In 1995, the 48th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution calling for a substantial revision of the International Health Regulations (IHR), in view of the resurgence of infectious diseases and the heightened risk of their international spread, caused in particular by the growth of commercial air transport.
During the 41st Meeting of the Organizationís Directing Council (1999), in its document CD41/16 and the corresponding resolution, PAHO urged Member States to strengthen their infrastructure for surveillance, alert and response; to increase subregional mechanisms for information exchange; and to review current policies and regulations on rational use of antimicrobials.
Two years later, the 43rd Meeting of the Directing Council adopted Resolution CD43.R13 in support of the revision of the International Health Regulations, urging Member States to participate actively in the review process both nationally and through the regional integration systems.
A series of subregional workshops will be held in the Americas to ensure that the revised IHR will include criteria of interest to all parties and to finalize the adoption of the document for the 50th World Health Assembly in 2005. The first two of these workshops are scheduled for 5–7 April 2004 for South America, and for 27–29 April 2004 for Central America.
Source (consult for additional information): World Health Organization (WHO), International Health Regulations (IHR). Geneva: WHO.