Nicaragua plans against pandemic influenza tests Mario Urtecho Mario Urtecho END – 23:16 – 15/03/2009 END – 23:16 – 15/03/2009 Special to THE NEW JOURNAL Ironically, the chronicles of World War I hid the contemporary world the slaughter caused by Spanish influenza, category 5 pandemic, which swept nearly 100 million people, far beyond the victims of the war fronts and mortality caused by fearsome black. This subtype of influenza virus, H1N1 encrypted, annihilated andalusia andalusia infected 2.5% and 20% of the world’s population then. Within a year, the disease, symptoms can weaken and kill with ease to an average person, and with infection rates of 50%, spread over the world. Their destructive capacity over 25 million people in the first 25 weeks, a figure similar to the victims of HIV, but in its first 25 years. In Europe and the United States was mass hysteria. It ordered the curfew, and this was the Apocalypse, that the bodies should be cremated quemaderos industry. Because of staff shortages, thousands of businesses were closed and lacked water, electricity and telephones. However, it was the last time they swept the world. In 1957, the Asian influenza (H2N2) – Category 3 pandemic – over 4 million people and, in 1968, the Hong Kong influenza – pandemic category 2 -, killed 2 million. Today, the world prepares to confront this scourge, whose aggressiveness that recalls the description of an imaginary plague, so José Saramago in Blindness. Characteristics of the disease The seasonal influenza or common flu, it attacks the upper respiratory tract and lungs. Its symptoms are: cough, sore throat and body, fever, chills and boogers. The virus spreads easily among people by direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone who coughs or sneezes, and indirectly by touching contaminated objects. The sick, the disease transmitted from the first and second days before showing symptoms, until 4 to 5 days after they began. The flu is seasonal peak from December to March in the Northern Hemisphere, and from May to September in the Southern Hemisphere, but in tropical areas, circulates throughout the year. The complications caused by flu include pneumonia, dehydration, worsening of chronic heart and lung problems, and death. Groups at high risk for suffering complications are: people living in homes for the elderly, older than 65 years and / or chronically ill children between 6 months and 2 years, those with long-term medication and pregnant . Potential far from encouraging Scientists believe that there is greater possibility that a pandemic strain is developed in an avian influenza virus type A (H5N1), which circulates in many birds in the world. This specimen Influenza infects all varieties of birds and other species of animals, including humans, although many do not develop the disease. However, some subtypes are lethal to several species of birds, especially poultry. These excrete large quantities of virus in respiratory secretions, saliva and feces. The avian virus can be transmitted through contact with respiratory secretions and feces, contaminated clothing, farm equipment, water and food, and can survive weeks at low temperatures, humidity and water. The H5N1 virus has infected pigs in China and Vietnam, which can serve as mixing vessels of strains of avian and human viruses, to produce a potentially pandemic virus. Events in Nicaragua To address a possible influenza pandemic, the Ministry of Health, Minsa trained Rapid Response Teams at the national level, in turn facilitators to train in other departments or SILAIS where there are already five teams. In a complementary manner, the National Center for Diagnosis and Referral was strengthened with equipment, reagents and technical training in virology and 4 have been developed for monitoring sites of the virus circulating in the Hospital “La Mascota”, Centro de Salud Socrates Flores “Villa Liberty in Managua and Masaya Hospital. Other preparatory actions include the updated Corporate Plan for Health Preparedness and Response, the design of operational tools, the development and validation of a guide Municipal Health Preparedness and Response influenza pandemic, whose methodological expertise was transferred to Guatemala , El Salvador and the region of El Paraiso, Honduras. In the process of preparing to face this disaster, Nicaragua is receiving technical assistance from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, in organization of the Services, CDC-CAP in strengthening laboratory capacity building and technical surveillance; STOP AI-MSH / USAID, the development of Local Health Plans of pandemic influenza. They have also supported by Unicef, in developing the National Strategic Plan for Communications of the risk of avian influenza; CARE, improved epidemiological surveillance at the community and development of messages in response to a pandemic, and Plan International in promoting and FamiSalud Prevention of Influenza, with children in schools and communities, respectively. As experience in the world, the Rapid Response Team of SILAIS of Nueva Segovia (Nicaragua), with support from STOP AI-MSH/Usaid, a guide designed to facilitate the development of municipal plans for health preparedness and response to possible influenza pandemic and performed a validation of the technical experts SILAIS of Masaya, Estelí, Madriz, Nueva Segovia, El Paraiso (Honduras), and international agencies (CDC-CAP, CARE and Plan International). In addition, trained in the implementation of the 12 teams to guide municipal SILAIS Nueva Segovia, was monitoring the development of municipal plans and input to the guide, making validation practice. In addition, this guide has been shared with officials from the ministries of Health, and Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of El Salvador and Guatemala, reaching its acceptance and application in their territories. This model aims to provide a frame of reference at international level in developing local plans for pandemic influenza. The political commitment of countries is directly related to the results of preparation and response to a possible influenza pandemic, in addition to participation by other public and private organizations, which are considered vital to reducing social and economic impact that it causes .