As the temperature drops, Taiwan CDC rallies public and poultry workers in fight against avian flu and influenza A virus infections

  • Resource: Taiwan CDC
  • Release date: 11/26/2018 1:19:23 PM

Winter is the season for avian influenza, and novel influenza A virusinfections have emerged in China in recent years. Due to frequenteconomic and people-to-people exchanges between Taiwan and China,Taiwan is at a greater risk of infection. On November 13, TaiwanCenters for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) held a press conference titled“Join the Fight Against Novel Influenza A Virus Infections.” Togetherwith the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine(BAPHIQ), Taiwan CDC urged the public and poultry workers to takeprecautions against novel influenza A virus infections and avianinfluenza.

    Taiwan CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang(莊人祥) pointed out that human infections from avian influenza are rarebut can still occur. At the beginning and the end of each year,cross-strait traffic increases as people go on holiday or visit theirrelatives. People who plan to visit China and China-based Taiwanesebusinesspeople should monitor their personal hygiene and diet, lowertheir risk of infection by not eating raw poultry products, avoidingcontact with wild birds, and avoiding visiting live poultry markets.For more information about novel influenza A virus infections, sign upfor Taiwan CDC’s official LINE chatbot.

    BAPHIQ Director-General Feng Hai-tung (馮海東) saidpoultry workers should implement biosafety measures to prevent contactbetween poultry and migratory birds. Poultry workers are also asked toactively cooperate with the government’s prevention and controlmeasures so as to effectively prevent avian flu outbreaks andtransmission and maintain the biosecurity of the poultry industry. Ifyou find a dead bird in the wild, please do not touch the carcass,check with the epidemic prevention agency in your area for properprocedures.

    A video clip of “The Bird Flu Prevention Dance” madeby health authorities was also released at the press conference.Interesting dance moves and catchy lyrics in the clip should be able toremind poultry workers to take necessary measures to ward off avianflu. During the event, a poultry worker Mr. Chin (秦) shared his story,saying that he has been working in the poultry industry for many yearsand believes that implementing biosecurity measures is the only way toguarantee product safety. Poultry workers come into close contact withbirds for long periods of time, so Mr. Chin abides by the government’sepidemic prevention policy and gets vaccinated every year. Besidestaking personal precautions and carrying out disinfection andenvironmental management, he inspects the condition of his poultry andclosely monitors his own health.

    Taiwan CDC urges the public to adhere the “5 Do’sand 6 Don’ts” guidelines to prevent novel influenza A virus infections.The “5 Do’s” include: consume only thoroughly cooked poultry and eggs;wash hands thoroughly with soap; wear a face mask and seek medicalattention when symptoms develop; get vaccinated if you have long-termexposure to poultry; eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. The “6Don’ts” include: don’t consume raw poultry, eggs, or poultry products;don’t smuggle or purchase poultry products from unknown sources; don’ttouch or feed migratory birds or poultry; don’t release birds into thewild or randomly abandon them; don’t keep domesticated and wild poultrytogether; don’t visit poorly ventilated or crowded places. Medicalworkers who encounter a suspected case should inquire into thepatient’s history of travel and contact with affected birds, andpromptly notify health authorities. For more information, please visitTaiwan CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-freeCommunicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline at 1922 (or0800-001922).