Pinoys warned of bird flu threats2010-11-19
As airport officials brace for the expected yuletide arrivals, Malacanang on Friday reminded Filipinos planning to spend the holidays abroad to take the necessary precautions in light of another case of human avian influenza in Hong Kong.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Abigail Valte said that 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.
“The usual reminders, just to keep safe and to take the necessary precautions especially if they are planning to visit places with reported similar virus,” Valte said in an interview.
Hong Kong, which hosts thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), confirmed last Friday its first case of human bird flu in seven years.
As arrivals start to peak for returning overseas Filipino workers, Valte said airport authorities and the Health Department have intensified their vigilance and have put up monitoring equipment to detect persons with bird flu virus.
She said the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is currently coordinating with health experts from the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure carriers of bird flu virus do not pose a threat to the country. Arriving passengers, both foreign visitors as well as OFWs, are required to pass through thermal scanners and subjected to ear thermometers.
Records show that the avian influenza (bird flu) virus, especially its sub type H5N1, presents a great threat to humans.
According to the World Health Organization, the virus has crossed the species barrier [from birds to humans] at least in three occasions in recent years.