NHS: Bird flu advice for travellers

PUBLISHED: 12:18 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

PUBLIC health advice has been published for people travelling to countries that have been affected by bird flu. The UK has not seen any cases of H5N1, but cases of avian influenza are now occurring in poultry and wild birds in other parts of the world.

PUBLIC health advice has been published for people travelling to countries that have been affected by bird flu.

The UK has not seen any cases of H5N1, but cases of avian influenza are now occurring in poultry and wild birds in other parts of the world.

The Department of Health leaflet provides guidance on how to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus in a country affected by an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza, the symptoms of infection and what to do if a person thinks they may have been infected.

The leaflet advises: Do not visit bird or poultry farms and markets; avoid close contact with live or dead poultry; do not eat raw or poorly-cooked poultry or poultry products, including blood; and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said: "The virus does not pass easily from birds to people and has not yet been shown to pass from person to person. Where people have been infected it was as a result of close contact with infected poultry or birds.

"The virus has caused severe disease, and a high proportion of people have died. H5N1 infections have not been reported in this country, but it is important that travellers from the UK have clear factual information to assist them."

The document will be available from GP surgeries, health centres, and English air and seaports. Copies of the leaflet are available on the Department of Health website

n http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/EmergencyPlanning/PandemicFlu/fs/en

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