The Preventive Medicine Department confirmed that risk of disease spreading across borders is very high as human infections with a new avian influenza A (H7N9) virus are being reported from China.
The country needs to properly implement preventive measures to avoid the disease because sale, exchange and travel between the two countries is very complex, especially illegal trafficking in poultry, a representative form the department warned on November 16.
To proactively prevent disease, the Ministry of Health has recommended that people should wash their hands with soap, ensure good personal hygiene, and limit their contact with patients. They were also advised to not use poultry or poultry products with unknown origins, and ensure food safety.
People were told to immediately notify the local authorities and veterinary units if they detected any sick or dead poultry.
In particular, people who return from areas where there is an epidemic must apply preventive measures, and report their health status to local health authorities to be monitored. People should visit doctors to be counselled, examined and receive treatment if they have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, chest pain or difficulty breathing.
The World Health Organisation has recommended that tourists who travel to countries with such an epidemic should not be near areas where there are slaughter houses, and should stay away from poultry or avoid contact with live poultry and poultry sold in markets.
They should also not touch material contaminated by faeces of poultry or livestock. People with symptoms of acute respiratory infections while travelling or just returning from areas with an epidemic should visit a doctor for an examination and to determine the disease.
Influenza A (H7N9) is a respiratory illness in humans. The disease progresses rapidly and has a high mortality rate as there is no vaccine and no specific treatment.