In Taiwan, three different strains of avian influenza have been reported in outbreaks recently in what is being called “the most severe experienced in the past decade” in the country.
In addition to the hundreds of infected farms and the hundreds of thousands of birds culled, Taiwan is also monitoring people for signs of bird flu, particularly, poultry farm workers and disease control personnel.
As of January 20, 2015, a total of 1,377 people are being monitored and followed up for influenza-like symptoms. To date, no bird-to-human transmission of avian influenza has occurred.
The ongoing avian influenza outbreak in poultry continues to persist. Although no bird-to-human transmission of H5N2, H5N8, and H5N3 has occurred, Taiwan CDC is monitoring everyone who has been exposed to the poultry farms where avian influenza outbreaks have occurred for influenza-like symptoms for 10 days as a precaution.
Those who develop influenza-like illness will be further evaluated and tested for influenza. Of the 1,377 people being monitored and followed up, 32 people have developed influenza-like symptoms, the CDC reports. Specimens have been collected from 22 of them (1 is positive for seasonal influenza and the other 21 are negative), while the other 10 people are still being monitored for their health status. 3 other persons have been removed from surveillance.
Taiwan CDC reminds poultry workers to take additional preventive measures to prevent infection. If fever or influenza-like symptoms develops, please put on a mask and seek immediate medical attention. Moreover, poultry workers must inform the physician of their job and exposure history to facilitate diagnosis and treatment.