Bird Flu Hits Asia - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/23/04

Bird Flu Hits Asia

Just when we start to relax a little that flu season is flying out, a new flu is flying into Asia. It's called the avian flu or bird flu.

So far, it has infected millions of chickens across Asia, and killed at least five people in Vietnam. There are also two confirmed cases in Thailand.

Health experts stress that at this point, our risk of getting the bird flu is extremely low, that bird flu is not a food-borne virus, so eating chicken is safe. The CDC has not issued any travel alerts or advisories for Asia. However, travelers to Vietnam are advised to avoid contact with animals in live food markets.

Doctors believe all of the human cases so far have been contracted when people came in contact with infected live chickens or their waste, but the underlying fear with the avian flu is the virus's potential to change into a form which can pass from human to human.

The World Health Organization warns that could happen if somebody became infected with the bird flu and the human flu at the same time, and says the more widespread the avian flu becomes, the higher the risk.

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