West Nile virus: A contingency plan to protect the public’s health | National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC)

West Nile virus: A contingency plan to protect the public’s health

Best practice
Abstract: 
Although the chances of West Nile virus arriving in the United Kingdom have been assessed as low the possibility cannot be ruled out. The contingency plan maps out how co-operation and close liaison between veterinary and health services will be achieved in practice. The contingency plan sets out measures to: - · Enhance surveillance for the virus · Alert clinicians to the symptoms of West Nile fever · Control mosquito populations The plan explains transmission and surveillance strategies, diagnosis, patient care and the protection of healthcare professionals, public health action in partnership and environmental control.
Authors: 
Department of Health
Category: 
Control
Investigation
Management
Prevention

Expert Review

Expert reviews are submitted by our readers. They help other professionals decide whether the research findings reported in this resource are robust and applicable to their daily patient/client care decisions and working environment. If you would like to help, visit our Contribute page.

Summary:
Although the chances of West Nile virus arriving in the United Kingdom have been assessed as low the possibility cannot be ruled out. The contingency plan maps out how co-operation and close liaison between veterinary and health services will be achieved in practice. The contingency plan sets out measures to: -· Enhance surveillance for the virus· Alert clinicians to the symptoms of West Nile fever· Control mosquito populationsThe plan explains transmission and surveillance strategies, diagnosis, patient care and the protection of healthcare professionals, public health action in partnership and environmental control.
Questions Addressed:
The document sets out surveillance/actions already in place and public health action based on risk assessment nationally and locally which will be taken by health, veterinary and environmental agencies working in partnership should an incident/outbreak occur.
Type of Study:
Policy/contingency plan
Methods Valid:
Yes
Methods Valid Detail:

The report sets out the strategy and contains important information for all those who might be called on to play a role in limiting the impact of West Nile virus.

Results Reliability:
Produced by an expert group and modelled on the epidemiological evidence of introduction and spread in other countries.
Problems or Biases:

None

Relevant Studies:
Keywords:
1. Health Check: On the State of Public Health. Annual Report of the Chief medical officer 2002. Department of health. www.publications.dh.gov.uk/cmo/annualreport2002/index.htm 2. Department of health. Getting Ahead of the Curve: A Stratagy for combating Infectious diseases (including other aspects of health protection). A Report by the Chief Medical officer. 2002. www.publications.dh.gov.uk/cmo/idstrategy/index.htm 3. Campbell GL Marfin AA Lanciotti RS Gubler DJ. West Nile virus. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2002: 519-529 4. Crook PD Crowcroft NS Brown DW. West nile virus and the threat to the UK. Communicable Disease and public health 2002 5: 138-43 5. Davidson KL Crowcroft NS Ramsey ME Brown DW Andrews NJ. Viral encephalitis in England 1989-1998: what did we miss? Emerging Infectious Diseases 2003 9: 234-40 Solomon T Ooi MH Beasley DW Mallewa M. West Nile encephalitis. BMJ 2003 326: 865-869
Reviewer Name:
Sue Wiseman
Reviewer Post:
Nurse Consultant –Infection Control, DH
Reviewer Affiliations:
Member Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens Health Protection Adviser Royal College of Nursing P/T Member Infection Control Nurses Association