In response to the ongoing highly pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza outbreaks in poultry farms, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) has continued to reinforce the implementation of relevant prevention and control measures, including contact investigations and tracing, awareness programs, and cross-sector collaboration efforts, in order to ensure the health of the people in Taiwan.
Concerning the surveillance for highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, including H5N6, H5N2, and H5 positive samples, as of February 17, 2016, health authorities in the nation have investigated a total of 353 contacts. All of them are in good health and none of them have developed suspected symptoms after exposure to poultry infected with avian influenza viruses.
Thus far, epidemiological investigations in the nation have identified 14 contacts in Taipei City who will be monitored till February 25, 75 contacts in Yilan County who will be monitored till February 21, 31 contacts in Taoyuan City who will be monitored till February 25, 62 contacts in Yunlin County who will be monitored till February 27, 38 contacts in Chiayi County who will be monitored till February 25, 20 contacts in Tainan City who will be monitored till February 23, 51 contacts in Kaohsiung City who will be monitored till February 25, and 62 contacts in Hualien County who will be monitored till February 24. In addition, follow-up of 317 contacts have been stopped and they have been removed from the contact list.
Taiwan CDC urges the public to adhere to the “5 Do’s and 6 Don’t’s” guidelines to ward off avian influenza. The “5 Do’s” include: Consume only thoroughly cooked poultry and eggs; Wash hands with soap and water thoroughly; Wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention when symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of your job and exposure history; People who have long-term or repeated exposure to poultry, including poultry growers and workers, should receive influenza vaccine; Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
The “6 Don’t’s” include: Don’t consume raw or undercooked poultry, eggs and poultry products; Don’t smuggle or purchase poultry from unknown sources; Don’t touch or feed migratory birds or poultry; Don’t release poultry into the wild or randomly abandon poultry; Don’t keep domesticated and wild poultry together; Don’t visit crowded and poorly ventilated public places.
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