Avian influenza the current state of affairs : the public health perspective in Canada
Kangong, Yvonne Beyang
Master of Public Health
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In light of Canada’s need to deal with respiratory infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, Avian Influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), public health departments across the country have been challenged with the need to develop action plans for both treatment and prevention. Yet the problem is not isolated to Canada but is considered to be a major public health threat both in Canada and internationally. The emergence of viral respiratory infections in Canada may be attributed to several sources, which include migration from one part of the world to another either for pleasure or business, as a major contributor. Such migrations coupled with inadequate infectious disease prevention strategies not only leads to rapid transmission of respiratory infectious diseases, but there is also a problem in administering effective treatment and vaccines to infected cohorts.Several factors contribute to both the accidental and/or deliberate transfer of microbial agents. For example, economic, cultural and political interactions invoke the emergence of new and unrecognized microbial disease agents (Lashley, 2006). New diseases have the potential to spread across the world in a matter of days, or even hours, making early detection and action more important than ever (BCCDC, 2008).