Avian influenza outbreaks continue to be 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 these potentially fatal strains of flu virus.

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Advice For Travellers

Some of these viruses cause a severe and often fatal respiratory infection in humans and are universally fatal in poultry, especially chickens. Most of the human infections have been in people who have close contact with chickens that are infected with these viruses, especially people working in the live chicken markets where they are slaughtered.

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

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