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Travellers advised: no serious risk from bird flu

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) welcomed a World Health Organization (WHO) assessment that bird flu at this…

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) welcomed a World Health Organization (WHO) assessment that bird flu at this stage poses no realistic health threat to travellers visiting Asian cities. There is no sign of the virus passing from human to human, the world health body said.



According to the WHO, H5N1 avian influenza (bird flu) can only be caught by direct contact with contaminated live poultry. Travellers are not at risk of catching bird flu by eating cooked chicken or eggs.



The WHO says it has no plans to issue a travel advisory.



WHO spokesman, Mr. Peter Cordingley, told PATA: The World Health Organization does not at this moment see bird flu as a serious public health threat.



This is not an urban problem. It has only been detected in farms and wet market environments,
he said.



Mr. Cordingley confirmed that there was no sign that bird flu was changing its genetic structure and becoming transmittable between humans. He said there have been no known cases of health workers contracting bird flu from patients.



Travel companies across Asia report business as usual with record numbers of tourists travelling during the Lunar New Year period.



PATA President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong said: To date, there has been no discernible impact on travel bookings — nor should there be. We are keen to ensure that the travelling public gets the facts on this issue.



The World Health Organization has detailed information about bird flu at http://www.who.int/en/.

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