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Lye DCB, Nguyen DH, Giriputro S, Anekthananon T, Eraksoy H, Tambyah PA
Correspondence: Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah, firstname.lastname@example.org
There has been much alarm about avian influenza and its potential for a global pandemic ever since the current epidemic of avian influenza infections in humans began in 2003. While there have been a number of published reports on the clinical features of avian influenza, there are few guidelines on the practical management of patients with avian influenza. A symposium organised by the Society of Infectious Disease (Singapore), Society of Intensive Care Medicine and the Singapore General Hospital was held in Singapore to gather the views of experts from Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia who collectively had first-hand experience of the management of the majority (more than 100 of 192) of cases of avian influenza worldwide. The experts emphasised the importance of adapting international guidelines to the practicalities of situations on the ground. There was stress on wide screening using clinical criteria primarily, molecular diagnostic techniques (with reference laboratory confirmation) for diagnosis, and rational use of antiviral prophylaxis as well as infection control using at least surgical masks, gowns and gloves. A detailed analysis of data from a pooled database from these and other affected countries is critical to building up the evidence base for practical internationally applicable guidelines.
Keywords: avian influenza, infection control, infectious disease, influenza, viral infection
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(6): 471-475