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No travel restrictions but Kiwis need to take care

MEDIA RELEASE
9 July 2013

No travel restrictions but Kiwis need to take care

The outbreak of the Avian Influenza A(H7N9) in China has not resulted in travel restrictions but leading New Zealand travel assistance company, First Assistance, recommends New Zealanders travelling in the region still need to take precautions.

Avian flu is one of a group of flu viruses normally found in birds, which has recently been detected in over one hundred humans across China and Taiwan. Over a third of reported cases resulted in death and almost all cases led to severe illness in sufferers.

“Graham Denyer, Chief Medical Officer at First Assistance said, “As yet there is no evidence to suggest that this strain of influenza can be transmitted between people and the majority of people that have contracted the disease have reported close contact with live poultry.

“With this in mind it is thought that the chance of visiting kiwis contracting the illness is very low but there are steps that can be taken to further reduce the risk of infection.”

These include:
Avoid live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into contact with domesticated or live birds.
Avoid eating or handling raw or under cooked poultry, egg or dishes made with fresh poultry blood
Avoid contact with surfaces contaminated with animal faeces or fluids
Wash your hands regularly
“If people are sensible and follow the steps outlined above they can relax and enjoy their travels in the region,” concluded Denyer.

Ends

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