The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control use the following as the definition of emerging infectious disease:
- New infections resulting from changes or evolution of existing organisms (i.e. novel organisms);
- Known infections spreading to new geographic areas or populations;
- Previously unrecognized infections appearing in areas undergoing ecologic transformation;
- Old infections reemerging as a result of antimicrobial resistance in known agents or breakdowns in public health measures.
Novel influenza and MERS-CoV
The World Health Organization is closely monitoring novel and emerging respiratory infections.
- Influenza at the human-animal interface - Influenza viruses circulating in animals pose threats to human health. Humans can become ill when infected with viruses from animal sources, such as avian or swine influenza virus subtypes.
- MERS-CoV (novel coronavirus) - A respiratory syndrome coronavirus from the Middle East.
The risk of transmission of novel influenza virus (such as avian influenza A (H7N9) or novel coronavirus) is currently low in Canada. However, it is important that all health care providers are aware of the steps to identify, diagnose and treat persons who may be infected with these viruses.
- Information on preventing, diagnosing and treating infectious diseases - Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada
- Information on emerging respiratory pathogens - Public Health Agency of Canada
- Interim Guidance on the Use of Antiviral Agents for Treatment of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A (H7N9) - U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Information on Novel Respiratory Viruses - Saskatchewan Infection Prevention and Control
- Severe Respiratory Illness Requisition - Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory
- The latest public health notice on H7N9 avian influenza - Public Health Agency of Canada
- The latest public health notice on MERS-CoV - Public Health Agency of Canada