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H5N1 Health Advice

Avian Influenza Health Advice

Winter to spring is the seasonal high risk period for avian influenza. The detection of H5N1 among wild birds and carcasses of poultry recently is a cause of concern. In this regard, members of the public are advised to pay extra attention to stay away from the disease by refraining from contacting live poultry, especially dead or sick poultry.

Though our genetic analysis shows that the virus has no mutation for the time being and there is no sign of human-to-human transmission, we should not be off guard against the disease.

While the Government is highly vigilant and will continue to strictly enforce preventive measures against avian influenza, members of the public also have a role to play.

Members of the public should remain vigilant against avian influenza infection and observe the following measures:

* Avoid direct contact with poultry and birds or their droppings; if contacts have been made, they should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water;
* Poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before eating;
* Wash hands frequently;
* Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with tissue and put it into covered dustbins;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with sick people with fever;
* Wear a mask when you have respiratory symptoms or need to take care of patients with fever;
* When you have fever and influenza-like illnesses during a trip or when coming back to Hong Kong, you should consult doctors promptly and reveal your travel history.

People working in poultry farms, wholesale and retail markets should strictly adhere to the following biosecurity measures:

* Take precautions to prevent any contact between poultry and other birds.
* Use enclosed caging to prevent poultry from leaving/entering livestock premises.
* Feeders and drinking water containers should be properly placed to avoid contact with wild birds and contaminants.
* Newly acquired birds must be isolated for observation. Immediately report any abnormal health condition of the flock.
* Wear suitable protective clothing when touching birds.
* Clean and disinfect thoroughly after touching birds or handling their droppings.
* Seek medical treatment immediately when feeling unwell.

For the latest information about Avian Influenza occurring in Hong Kong, please refer to the following table and map.

Table and Map

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Last Review Date : 14 June 2016