Risk of getting bird flu low for travelers

Dec. 29, 2006 at 1:55 PM

SEOUL, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- For travelers in countries with both human and avian flu, the risk of developing the disease is low, according to South Korean researchers.

Researchers at General Hospital in Seoul say the risk factors for contracting the virus are limited to contact with infected birds. Those factors include contact from slaughtering, defeathering and butchering fowl; close contact with wild birds or caged poultry; ingestion of undercooked poultry products; direct contact with surfaces contaminated with poultry feces; and close contact with infected humans.

There are currently no recommended travel restrictions, the researchers say. If anything, common sense would tell travelers to avoid contact with all birds, especially poultry; avoid surfaces contaminated with poultry feces; and avoid undercooked poultry products.

The use of prophylactic anti-viral medications is not recommended, according to the report in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.

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