[Medical Update] Asian Bird Flu



9th December 2015


Avian flu, also known as "bird flu", refers to a family of flu viruses that mainly affect birds. Two strains of bird flu are known to cause severe and fatal illness in people: H5N1 and H7N9. People generally have no immunity against these viruses.

The bird flu strain has recently been found in poultry in Vietnam in Nam Dinh, Ha Tinh, Nghe An and Son La Provinces. It has been confirmed that the outbreaks have been controlled.

The vast majority of the known human cases have resulted from direct contact with poultry, and there is only limited evidence to suggest possible human-to-human transmission. It is important to know that birds appear healthy and do not display symptoms of infection. The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture is currently providing free vaccines for poultry and has also banned poultry being transported across the border.


bird%20flu%202.JPG- Stay away from poultry and do not transport live or dead poultry even if it appears to be healthy.

- Avoid contact with live birds, chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese and their feces, feathers and pens.

- Children, in particular, should be warned and precautions enforced. Pet birds should not be kept.
- If preparing poultry, cook it well done before eating. Avoid cross contamination of other foods by use of separate kitchen utensils and surfaces exposed to raw poultry.

- Wash hands with soap and water after any poultry contact.

- Avoid poultry products from areas of infected birds. If you must travel to infected areas, hand washing and shoe and clothing cleaning should be an immediate priority.

- Be sure to wear gloves, a special N-95 mask, goggles and a disposable gown if you must be in contact with the birds/poultry.

- Observe yourself for the development of any respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms after the visit and check your temperature for a week afterwards.