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Canada Updates Avian Influenza Travel Health Notice

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  • Canada Updates Avian Influenza Travel Health Notice

    Avian Influenza: Global Update

    Updated: March 1, 2012
    Travel Health Notice

    Avian influenza (<abbr title="Avian influenza">H5N1</abbr>), commonly known as “bird flu” is a viral infection that can spread easily and quickly among birds. Travellers are reminded that countries around the world, in particular, countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa continue to report cases of avian influenza (H5N1).
    While avian influenza (H5N1) commonly causes sickness in birds, it can also infect people. People who contract avian influenza (H5N1) can get very ill, and more than half die from it.
    If you are travelling to a region where avian influenza (H5N1) is known to be present, the Public Health Agency of Canada (<acronym title="Public Health Agency of Canada">PHAC</acronym>) recommends that you:
    • avoid all high-risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets;
    • avoid eating undercooked eggs or poultry;
    • wash your hands frequently; and
    • see a health care provider if you develop flu-like symptoms while travelling or after you return to Canada.

    Where is Avian Influenza (H5N1) a concern?

    • Risk of humans contracting avian influenza (H5N1) exists in countries with outbreaks of the viral infection in poultry. Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa have all had outbreaks of avian influenza (H5N1) in poultry since 1997.
    • Thus far in 2012, there have been confirmed human cases reported in Cambodia, China, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam.
    • From 2003 to 2011, there have been more than 500 confirmed human cases in 15 countries: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
    • Since 2003, just over 300 people have died worldwide from avian influenza (H5N1).

    The World Health Organization (<acronym title="World Health Organization">WHO</acronym>) posts information on the total number of human cases of avian influenza and maps of where human cases of avian influenza have occurred.
    The World Organisation for Animal Health (<acronym title="Organisation for Animal Health">OIE</acronym>) posts information on outbreaks of avian influenza in animals and maps of where animal cases of avian influenza have occurred.
    Recommendations

    Consult a doctor, nurse or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
    1. Avoid getting avian influenza (H5N1):
      1. If you are travelling to an area where avian influenza (H5N1) is a concern,
        1. avoid high-risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets;
        2. avoid unnecessary contact with birds, including chickens, ducks and wild birds;
        3. avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them; and
        4. ensure that all poultry dishes are well cooked, including eggs .

    2. Wash your hands frequently;
      1. Wash your hands with soap under warm running water.
      2. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also be used if soap and water are not readily available. It’s a good idea to keep some with you in your pocket or purse when you travel.

    3. Monitor your health:
      1. If you develop flu-like symptoms while travelling, or after you return to Canada, you should see a health care provider.
      2. Tell your health care provider that you have been travelling or living in an area where avian influenza (H5N1) is a concern.


    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/thn-csv/h5n1-eng.php
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