The National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, has issued its 49th Seasonal Awareness and Alert Letter (SAAL) for epidemic-prone infectious diseases in Pakistan. The main purpose of SAAL is to alert all concerned health authorities and professionals at all levels for timely and efficient response to the outbreaks/ epidemics. This letter is developed for winter season from October-2020 to February-2021.
In this letter, NIH exhibited patterns of high priority communicable diseases including COVID-19, CCHF, Dengue Fever, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Seasonal Flu and XDR Typhoid. These diseases are predicted to be on high alert during the said season. It also contains a detailed introduction of diseases, case definitions, infectious agents, modes of transmission, case management, and prevention.
Through this letter, NIH also informed about national and international public health events like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) / AIDS as national while Ebola Virus Disease which may be a threat for any of the country or region in future. On the basis of last five-year data, NIH recommends for all federal, provincial and district health departments to keep a continuous surveillance/watch on the anticipated seasonal public health threats and taking of all preventive or curative measures in this context.
Due to ongoing pandemic situation of COVID-19, its epidemiology, impact, prevention and control were elaborated in detail. Along with technical advice and support NIH is facilitating testing and capacity building services for all educational, economic, administrative and local institutions at Islamabad.
To facilitate the stakeholders, the requisite technical guidelines and awareness material regarding infectious diseases along with Seasonal Awareness Alert Letter (SAAL) are also available at the NIH website: www.nih.org.pk.