Infection prevention and control of epidemic-and pandemic prone acute respiratory infections in health care
This publication is an update to the World Health Organization (WHO) interim guidelines Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory diseases in health care (2007). These updated guidelines incorporate the emergency guidance given in the WHO publication Infection prevention and control during health care for confirmed, probable, or suspected cases of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection and influenza-like illness (2009). The revision was informed by both evidence that has emerged since the first edition was published and the practical lessons learnt during the influenza pandemic in 2009.
The WHO guidelines Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory infections in health care provide recommendations, best practices and principles for non-pharmacological aspects of infection prevention and control (IPC) for acute respiratory infections (ARI) in health care, with special emphasis on ARI that can present as epidemics or pandemics. The guidelines are intended to help policy-makers, administrators and health-care workers to prioritize effective IPC measures.
The document also provides guidance on the application of basic IPC precautions, such as Standard Precautions, and on the importance of maintaining appropriate IPC measures in routine circumstances to strengthen a healthcare facility’s capacity to put them into practice during outbreaks. These measures should therefore be part of the hospital’s permanent IPC strategy.