Bird flu: NHS issues WARNING as deadly outbreak spreads – how to avoid infection
BIRD flu is a deadly viral flu infection that can cause vomiting, stomach pain and bleeding from the nose. This is what you need to know as the NHS warns of outbreak.
Bird flu is a deadly infection that’s caused by the H5N1, H7N9, and H5N6 influenza viruses.
While common among birds, it can infect humans on rare occasions.
The H5N1 virus has infected 860 people worldwide, according to latest World Health Organization figures. More than 450 people have died.
Since March 2013, the H7N9 virus has infected 1,565 people, and 612 people have died from the flu virus.
The NHS advised the public on how to reduce the risk of infection.
“Travelling to China for #ChineseNewYear? See advice on reducing the risk of avian flu,” said the NHS on Twitter.
“Avoid visiting live bird and animal markets and poultry farms.
“Do not pick up or touch dead or dying birds.
“Wash hands regularly with soap or use alcohol-based hand rubs.”
The NHS also suggested avoiding contact with animal waste, or untreated bird feathers.
You shouldn’t bring any poultry products back to the UK either, it said.
Eating or handling undercooked or raw poultry, egg or duck dishes could increase the risk of infection.
There are currently no restrictions on travel to countries that have been, or are currently, affected by bird flu.
Bird flu symptoms are similar to other types of flu. But, symptoms can appear suddenly.
It can take up to five days from infection for the symptoms to start showing.
A fever, aching muscles, headaches, coughing and a running nose could all be signs of infection.
Stomach pain, chest pain and bleeding from the nose and gums have also been reported as early symptoms of bird flu.
Within days of symptoms appearing, the viral infection can lead to pneumonia, organ failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome, the NHS added.