Novel Influenza A Virus Infections
Novel Influenza A Virus Infections Surveillance in Taiwan
The overall public health risk from currently known influenza viruses at the human-animal interface (e.g. H5N6, H7N9 etc.) has not changed, and the likelihood of sustained human-to-human transmission of these viruses remains low. Further human infections with viruses of animal origin are expected. The risk of these viruses to circulate in the community remain low in Taiwan.
Prevention and Control1. Taiwan CDC urges the public to adhere to the “5 Do’s and 6 Don’ts” guidelines to prevent the
a. Consume only thoroughly cooked meat/animal products (e.g. poultry, eggs and pork)；
b. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;
c. Wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention when symptoms develop, and inform the
doctor of your job and exposure history;
d. People who have long-term or repeated exposure to animals (e.g. poultry and pigs), including
animal growers and workers, should receive influenza vaccine;
e. Take appropriate protective measures when working in animal farm or slaughterhouse.
(2) The “6 Don’ts” include:
a. Don’t consume raw or undercooked meat/animal products (e.g. poultry, eggs and pork);
b. Don’t smuggle or purchase animals from unknown sources;
c. Don’t touch or feed animals especially migratory birds or poultry;
d. Don’t release animals into the wild or randomly abandon animals;
e. Don’t keep domesticated and wild animals together;
f. Don’t visit animal farm.
2. When traveling to the novel influenza affected areas
(1) Look up any outbreak informationat your travel destinations.
(2) Avoid visiting slaughterhouses, animal farms, and wet markets. Also, avoid feeding or touching
(3) Be aware of personal hygiene. Keepthe habits of frequent hand washing. Using handsanitizer with
70% alcohol can be an alternative option.
(4) Do not touch animals and their excrement. In case of accidental contact, immediately wash hands
with soap and water.
(5) Should one develop symptoms suchas fever, cough, sore throat, and conjunctivitis during the trip,
report to thetour leader and wear a mask to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
(3) Never bring animals back to Taiwan.
3. When returning from novel influenza affected areas
(1) Should one have had physical discomfort during the trip, fill out and submit a “Communicable
Disease Survey Form” when arriving in Taiwan.
(2) After returning from novel influenza-affected areas, measure body temperature twice everyday
(once in the morning and once in the evening) and self-monitor health status for the following ten
(3) If influenza-like symptoms such as fever (38℃ and above), cough,and sore throat develop, put on
a mask , go to seek medical care andvoluntarily inform the physician of the followings:
1. symptoms, 2. recent travel history, and 3. animals exposure history.
(4) For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC’s website or call the toll-free hotline 1922
(or 0800-001922) for assistance in seeking medical attention in order to ensure the health and
well-being of all.
1. Why do novel influenza A viruses warrant extra concern?Novel influenza A virus infection in humans may cause serious illness and has a high mortality
2. What subtypes of novel influenza A virus have caused human cases?
Novel influenza A virus subtypes having been recognized to be transmitted to humans and cause
diseases include H1N1v, H1N2v, H3N2v, H5N1, H5N6, H6N1, H7N2, H7N3, H7N4, H7N7, H7N9, H9N2,
H10N7, and H10N8. Besides H1N1v, H1N2v, H3N2v that originate from infected swines, the rest of the
subtypes are from infected birds. The symptoms of humans infected withnovel influenza A viruses are
similar to those of seasonal influenza infection (ex. H6N1, H9N2, etc.), but some involves complicated
pneumonia and even death (e.g., H5N1, H7N9, etc.).
3. What is the recent epidemic of human H5N1 or H7N9 influenza virus infection?
Cumulative number of confirmed human H5N1 influenza casesreported to WHO,
please visit WHO's website at: Latest table.
Cumulative number of confirmed human H7N9 influenza cases reported to WHO,
please visit WHO's website at: Current risk assessments.
4. Are there vaccines effective against novel influenza A viruses in humans?
Besides vaccines against H5N1 influenza viruses, there are currently no available vaccines effective
against other novel influenza A subtypes yet. Vaccines against H7N9 influenza viruses are now under
5. Are there antivirals effective against novel influenza A viruses in humans?
In most cases, novel influenza in humans develops into a serious disease that should be treated
promptly in the hospital and may require intensive care, where available. The antivirals such as
oseltamivir, zanamivir or peramivir can reduce the severity of illness and prevent death, and should
be used as soon as possible.
6. Is it safe to eat meat/animal products, for example, poultry, eggs, and pork?
Because influenza viruses are inactivated by normal temperatures used for cooking, meat products
and eggs can be safely consumed provided they are properly handled during food preparation and
thoroughly cooked (so that food reaches 70°C in all parts, e.g., poultry meat is not pink). In areas
experiencing outbreaks, the consumption of raw or incompletely cooked meat products and eggs is a
high-risk practice and should be discouraged. Animals that are clearly sick or that have died of
diseases or died unexpectedly should not be eaten.