Avian influenza outbreaks are unusually high

There appears to be an unusual number of serious outbreaks of different strains of avian influenza in poultry in a large number of disparate countries, especially in China. However, so far there is no evidence to suggest that these strains have acquired any mutations that would permit/facilitate direct human-to-human transmission of this potentially fatal kind of flu virus.

Advice For Travellers

This virus causes a severe and often fatal respiratory infection in humans and is universally fatal in poultry, especially chickens. Most of the cases have been in people who have close contact with chickens that carry this virus, especially people working in the live chicken markets where they are slaughtered.

The risk for the general traveller is typically low, since person-to-person spread of this flu strain is rare. However, the risk of exposure can be minimized by avoiding visiting live poultry markets where the virus may be found.

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