Advice for travellers going to and returning from travel to areas affected by avian influenza

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not recommended travel restrictions to countries affected by avian influenza, including countries that have reported cases in humans. If the WHO changes its assessment of the risks of travel to an increased threat level, you will be advised accordingly.


  • Always educate yourself and others who may be travelling with you about any disease risks in areas you plan to visit. Further information on countries with outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in avian species is available from the WHO.
  • See your doctor before you travel to get any information on travel risks to the area you are going to.
  • Include a thermometer and alcohol-based hand-rub for hand hygiene in your travel health kit.

During travel

  • Avoid all direct contact with poultry, including touching well-appearing, sick, or dead chickens and ducks. Avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live poultry are raised or kept, and avoid handling surfaces contaminated with poultry faeces or excretions. Large amounts of the virus are known to be excreted in the droppings of infected birds
  • One of the most important preventive practices is careful and frequent hand washing. Cleaning your hands often, using either soap and water or waterless alcohol-based hand rubs, removes potentially infectious materials from your skin and helps prevent disease transmission.
  • Influenza viruses are destroyed by heat; therefore, as a precaution, all foods from poultry, including eggs and poultry blood, should be thoroughly cooked.
  • If you become sick with symptoms such as a fever, difficulty breathing, cough, or any illness that requires prompt medical attention, it is advisable that you defer travel until you are free of symptoms unless your travel is health-related.
  • Don’t attempt to bring any live poultry or other avian products back to Ireland

Post travel
For 10 days following travel to an affected area:  If you become ill with fever, difficulty breathing, cough, or any illness during this period, consult your GP

Before you visit your GP, or seek medical attention, tell your GP about your symptoms and recent travel history so that they can be aware you have travelled to an area reporting avian influenza.

Last updated: 8 March 2017