Bird Flu Alarm

2006-03-03-Wash your hands to avoid French bird flu

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-03-03-Wash your hands to avoid French bird flu

Travellers were warned yesterday to wash their hands frequently and keep out of poultry markets in France when the Government issued its first advice on visiting countries with bird flu.

The Department of Health also said people should avoid eating raw or under-cooked poultry and avoid contact with live or dead poultry.

The countries to which the advice applies are France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and south-east Asia. A leaflet has been produced for surgeries, health centres and air and sea ports. It points out that there are no restrictions on travel or evidence of human-to-human transmission. But it also advises people who have been in contact with birds to be aware of symptoms which can come on suddenly.

They include fever - a temperature above 38 C; cough, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, sore eyes and muscle aches.



French officials said yesterday that the H5N1 virus had been detected in 11 more wild birds. The cases were reported as Paris announced that the protection zone in the south-eastern Ain region had been expanded to cover 300 towns.

Dozens of countries have banned poultry imports from France after H5N1 was found on a turkey farm near Lyons last week.

Birds in British wildlife parks should be vaccinated against avian flu, a biologist concerned for the safety of penguins warned yesterday.

Rob Hicks, from the Sea Life Park, in Weymouth, said he was unable to protect the park's penguins, but penguins at a sister attraction in Belgium had been vaccinated.

Understanding Avian Influenza