Islamabad - National Institute of Health in collaboration with Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences held a one-day seminar on influenza awareness for healthcare professionals at PIMS on Wednesday.

The purpose of the seminar was to provide updated influenza information on epidemiology, current situation in Pakistan and global scenario as well.

During the seminar, the speakers provided the participants with technical guidance on different aspects of influenza including its treatment, vaccination, diagnostics, prevention and control. They also informed the audience on global perspective of influenza and highlighted the epidemiology of seasonal influenza and emergence of pandemic influenza viruses.

The speakers briefed about control and preventive strategies and emphasised on every day practices like hand washing, cough etiquettes and use of disinfectants for prevention in influenza virus. They also explained about high risk groups, availability and use of anti-viral drugs and recommendations for use of vaccination.

Dr Mumtaz Ali, senior scientific officer at the NIH, said that regular advisories regarding prevention, control, diagnosis and management of influenza are being issued by the NIH. Seasonal awareness and alert letters is also circulated for sensitising against epidemic-prone diseases including Influenza.

He disclosed that the NIH had established laboratory-based seasonal influenza surveillance network at seven sites in Pakistan to provide baseline knowledge on circulating influenza virus in the country and provide support for laboratory detection of novel influenza strains when they emerge.