The A/H1N1 outbreak underlines the “crucial importance of maintaining worldwide veterinary services able to implement early detection of relevant emerging pathogens”, claims the OIE.
The statement reads: “If this virus would be shown to cause disease in animals, virus circulation could worsen the regional and global situation for public health. Currently, only findings related to the circulation of this virus in pigs in zones of countries having human cases would justify trade measures on the importation of pigs from these countries. The OIE will continue its alert function and will publish in relation with its Members, Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres all appropriate information in real time.
“OIE and FAO underline the great value of the influenza veterinary laboratory network called OFFLU, in charge of the surveillance of the evolution of influenza viruses in animals. There is a strong need to reinforce this network whose members are urged to put immediately in the public domain any genetic sequence of influenza virus they obtain.
“This influenza event underlines in all countries the crucial importance of maintaining worldwide veterinary services able to implement in animals early detection of relevant emerging pathogens with a potential public health impact. This capacity is fully linked with veterinary services good governance and their compliance with OIE international standards of quality.”
Additionally, because the virus has not yet been isolated in animals, the OIE claim the disease should not be referred to as “swine influenza”, but it would be more logical to call it “North-American influenza”.
Visit the OIE website for the full statement.