On November 14-17, 2017, international partners from the US Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Association of Public Health Laboratories and the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health met in Bangkok, Thailand among 150 attendees from 11 Countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam). The objective of this meeting was to review drafted training materials on the epidemiologic, veterinary, medical, and laboratory components of an effective response to the detection in poultry of an avian influenza A virus of pandemic concern to humans, or a novel influenza A virus detected in humans. The 150 attendees represented human and animal health professionals , including relevant Ministries of Health and Agriculture. Following a day of initial plenary lectures from international experts the week was spent presenting, and receiving comments, on the training materials you now find on this web site. At the end of each session formal evaluation reports were taken from the attending Member State representatives. In the months following this meeting a first set of the training materials were finalized based on audience input in order to make them adaptable and appropriate to local contexts.
The training materials include didactic lectures, most with speakers' notes. There are also short 30 minute to 2 hour group exercises and practice scenarios, as well as a full day case study designed to facilitate a coordinated, multi-sectoral, discussion of a response to the detection of an influenza virus of pandemic potential in poultry and human populations.
Given the current threat of influenza A(H7N9) that is prominent among other circulating influenza viruses, these training materials do focus on preparedness for an influenza virus that may be high or low pathogenic in poultry, yet which may also cause severe disease in humans. Indeed, influenza A(H7N9) is used as a prominent teaching example in many lectures and scenarios.
The training modules may be used together for a longer (up to one week) training of multi-sectoral rapid response teams; or in a modular manner for specific, epidemiology, veterinary, laboratory or medical audiences, depending on available time and audience needs. Intended lecturers/facilitator and audiences for each module are described below so Member States can select modules based on their most pressing training needs. In cases where an exercise has a pre-requisite lecture, that is indicated as well.
These lectures and exercises are intended to each have enough information that a national (or in some cases sub-national) level specialist in any of the four aforementioned areas would be able to read them and then train other local responders according to international standards for avian influenza surveillance, response and control.
The training materials as posted on this web site were approved as they appear by the international agency partners mentioned above. They are intended to be downloaded and translated for local use, however these agencies are not responsible for any content that may be altered in that process or changed in translation. These modules will also be updated on an ongoing basis to reflect the ever-changing threats related to influenza globally.
Introduction Lecture - The ABC's of Influenza