News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Avian Flu Decision Timely And Prudent


The move by the Minister of Health to make avian influenza (bird flu) notifiable, is timely and prudent, however there is no need for the public to panic since it does not mean that its arrival in Canterbury is imminent, according to the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Mel Brieseman.

Dr Brieseman said the number of cases occurring overseas at present is small and largely restricted to people who are known to have had close contact with avian species particularly chickens. There has been no confirmed case of human to human spread. The virus at this stage shows no indication of a transition to a form which is readily transmissible among humans.

“We are however monitoring the situation very closely,” Dr Brieseman said. “As in the case of SARS last year, notification is one part of the awareness process. Like SARS, nothing may happen in New Zealand, but we must be prepared. Awareness amongst public and practitioners with prompt notification under the new legislation will enable an appropriate response should anything develop.”

Dr Brieseman said at present the northern hemisphere was in the middle of its annual influenza season and as a result there would be many people returning or entering New Zealand with symptoms of the disease. Consideration of the possibility of bird flu need only be made however in people who had come in close contact with chickens.

‘We are advising travellers to infected countries to avoid going to areas where they are likely to make contact with potentially affected birds such as in live food markets.’


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Smelling the Merchandise - The Death of Stalin

Having satirised British democracy with such devastating effect, Armando Iannucci has now turned his lens on the dangers inherent in Soviet authoritarianism. Every gag is girdled with fear and the bleak humour is so pitch black it could only have been pumped from deep underground. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Creole Stylings of Cécile McLorin Salvant

"You only get a singer like this once in a generation or two," commented Wynton Marsalis, who has repeatedly hired her to front his jazz orchestra and mounted a 25 foot high portrait of her on the exterior of Lincoln Center. “She radiates authority. She has poise, elegance, soul, humour, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth, and grace.” More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. The latest incarnation of this six-strong male singing group includes Kiwi Christopher Bruerton, and it was a delight to hear him sing the solo on the achingly beautiful My Love Is like a Red, Red Rose. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland