International Influenza Diagnosis Course for Caribbean Countries

International Influenza Diagnosis Course for Caribbean Countries
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The Infectious Risk Management Unit of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), with the support of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Influenza Center (FIOCRUZ) of Brazil, carried out an international training course aimed at the diagnosis of influenza and SARS-CoV-2. Led by Doctors Paula Couto and Juliana Leite, this course was in Rio de Janeiro between July 11 and 14. Its purpose was to strengthen the capacities for epidemiological and virological surveillance in the national and subregional laboratories of the following Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Bahamas; Dominican; Grenada; Guyanese; Saint Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

This training course covered two major components, one of them laboratory and the other epidemiological. Regarding the laboratory, the course focused on performing the molecular detection of influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2, as well as reviewing and discussing their virological surveillance through didactic lectures, practical exercises and demonstrations within the laboratory. Regarding the epidemiological component, the course aimed to strengthen capacities for integrated surveillance of influenza and SARS-CoV-2, as well as review and discuss the use of surveillance data through conferences and group exercises.