NDSC reiterates travel advice regarding areas affected by bird flu

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The National Disease Surveillance Centre today (Friday) reiterated that travellers to areas experiencing outbreaks of H5N1 avian infection should avoid contact with live animal markets and poultry farms, following WHO confirmation of three deaths in Vietnam from the virus.

NDSC specialist in public health medicine, Dr Suzanne Cotter said that the confirmation of these human cases emphasises the risk of virus transmission from infected poultry, and added that large amounts of the virus are known to be excreted in the droppings of infected birds.

There are currently no travel restrictions to the countries affected by avian influenza, including countries which have also reported cases in humans.

Outbreaks in poultry caused by the H5N1 strain have been confirmed in the following countries to date.

Vietnam  (July and January 2004)
Indonesia  (February 2004)
Japan   (January 2004)
Thailand  (January 2004)
Cambodia  (January 2004)
China   (January 2004)
Laos   (January 2004)
Republic of Korea  (December 2003)