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Health advice on avian flu to travellers


The Centre of Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (July 8) reminded travellers to be vigilant against avian flu, following reports of the disease among poultry in Anhui province and some countries in Southeast Asia.

A CHP spokesman said the centre was closely monitoring the situation and had established contact with the Mainland health authorities.

He said the CHP was on the alert for human cases of avian flu through its influenza surveillance system. None had been detected so far.

The spokesman reminded the public, particularly travellers going to countries with avian flu cases, to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene to prevent infection.

"They should avoid direct contact with poultry and birds, especially their faeces. If contact have been made, they should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible," he said.

The spokesman also reminded the public to take the following steps to prevent influenza:

* Maintain good ventilation;

* Avoid crowded places with poor ventilation;

* Wash hands after sneezing, coughing or cleaning the nose;

* Build up good body immunity by having a balanced diet,

adequate exercise and rest; and

* Avoid smoking.

"People who develop an influenza-like illness should promptly seek medical attention," the spokesman said.

Ends/Thursday, July 8, 2004


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