As our latest poll shows around 90% of you aren’t going to be put off coming to Turkey because of Bird Flu. And, as our article explains even the experts agree subject to some basic precautions.

Outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI) have been reported in poultry flocks across parts of South-East Asia since December 2003. The virus has recently spread to China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Romania.

People are rarely infected with bird flu viruses. H5N1 is able to infect people because it is able to cross the species-barrier, although it does not do this easily. Those who have become infected have had close direct contact with infected birds.

With regard to the recent outbreak in Turkey, evidence to date indicates that no human-to-human transmission has occurred.

The Turkish authorities are taking all the measures they can to limit the spread of avian flu and to quarantine the affected areas.

Advice to travellers

World Health Organisation (WHO) does not at present recommend any restrictions on travel to any country currently experiencing outbreaks of bird flu in poultry flocks, including countries which have also reported cases in humans.

If you are visiting countries with reported outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu among poultry, you should observe the following measures:

  • do not visit bird or poultry farms or live animal markets
  • avoid close contact with live or dead poultry
  • do not eat raw or poorly-cooked poultry or poultry products, including blood
  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water

Source: NHS 24/1/06