Philippine gov't warns against overseas travel due to bird flu

20:12, November 19, 2010      

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The Philippine government is cautioning Filipinos who plan to spend their holidays abroad to be careful after Hong Kong on Thursday confirmed its first case of human bird flu.

Although the country has yet to issue a formal travel advisory, Filipinos are advised to take care of themselves and avoid countries with confirmed bird flu virus, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said Friday.

Airport authorities and the Department of Health have also intensified their vigilance and have put up monitoring equipment to detect persons with bird flu virus especially since overseas Filipino workers are starting to return home in time for the holidays, Valte said.

The Manila International Airport Authority is currently coordinating with health experts to ensure carriers of bird flu virus do not pose a threat to the country. Arriving passengers are required to pass through thermal scanners and subjected to ear thermometers.

Bird flu or H5N1 can cause serious illness in humans and sometimes deaths. Latest data from the World Health Organization showed that as of October 18, the total number of confirmed human cases of the virus has already reached 39.

Source: Xinhua


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