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Statement on the prevention of the transmission of swine and avian influenza viruses to humans

The French High Council for Public Health or HCSP publishes its recommendations on the prevention of transmission of swine and avian influenza viruses to humans.

After taking into account:

  • virological characteristics: circulation and transmission (including between species) of influenza viruses in pigs, birds and humans, and genetic recombinations
  • diagnostic methods,
  • epidemiological data,
  • the effectiveness of barrier measures in preventing the transmission of swine and avian viruses to humans.
  • the sensitivity of these viruses to antivirals,

The HCSP updates the definition of a case of human infection by an influenza virus of swine origin (swine flu) or of avian origin (avian flu) and recommends :

  • compliance with the procedures for reporting and managing possible and confirmed cases (in particular for sampling and hygiene measures),
  • treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor which should be started as soon as possible (first 48 hours) for possible cases,
  • the provision of information to co-exposed persons and contacts of a confirmed case of zoonotic influenza.

The statement also details the action to be taken in the event of exposure to pigs, poultry or birds affected on the national territory as well as in the event of an epizootic due to a swine or avian influenza virus with an established or potential risk of transmission to humans, as well as in the absence of this risk.

Finally, the HCSP recommends that the French National Authority for Health or HAS evaluates the relevance of seasonal influenza vaccination in professionals exposed to swine and avian influenza viruses.

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