Bird flu: Residents told to be careful while travelling

DUBAI — Health authorities in the UAE have urged the public to take precautionary measures while travelling to countries that have reported outbreak of bird flu cases recently.


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Wed 28 Feb 2007, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:36 AM

Speaking to Khaleej Times yesterday, Dr Nada Al Marzouqi from the Disease Control Department at the Ministry of Health, said that because no effective vaccine was available for the disease as yet, people can only adopt precautionary measures while abroad.

“We suggest that people avoid crowded areas and follow basic rules of hygiene,” she suggested. She also said that the recent reports of 32 cases of the disease in Kuwait had been found in poultry only.

“No human infections have been reported in the neighbouring country as yet, but we still are following up with the authorities concerned,” she added.

Symptoms of the disease in humans range from typical flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases, and other life threatening complications.

Talking about the measures taken by the health ministry at the national level, Dr Marzouqi said that a National Emergency Committee for Control of Bird Flu has already been set up. “The committee oversees and coordinates the work of all relevant sectors, and monitors the situation at the international and national levels,” she explained.

She also said that the MoH has developed a national influenza preparedness plan based on the World Health Organisation recommendations and protocol.

“The plan includes stockpiling of antiviral medicines, training of health professionals on case diagnosis and management, reinforcing the surveillance system, monitoring of high risk groups, and undertaking all necessary preventive measures,” she added.

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