439 - 11/05 - Avian Influenza Health Advice - Hong Kong SAR

Following the outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N1) in Asia and Europe, the Hong Kong Marine Department have issued health advice for ship masters, persons-in-charge of vessels and crew.

Marine Department Notice No. 174 of 2005 lists Department of healthcare advice as follows:

·  Avoid direct contact with birds and poultry

·  Wash hands thoroughly with liquid soap and water immediately after contact with live poultry, birds or their droppings

·  Cook poultry and eggs thoroughly before eating

·  Cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing. Dispose of sputum or secretion wrapped in tissue paper into a rubbish bin with a lid. Wash hands with liquid soap and water afterwards

·  Build up good body resistance and maintain a healthy lifestyle

·  Maintain good environmental hygiene and good ventilation

·  If symptoms of respiratory infection exist, wear a face mask and consult a doctor promptly.

The initial symptoms of avian flu are similar to those of other influenza viruses, including fever. Those symptoms include generalised muscle pain, a cough and sore throat. Symptoms are likely to result in high fever, chest infection, respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, and death.

More information may be obtained from the following websites: The Centre for Health Protection www.chp.gov.hk and Department of Health www.travelhealth.gov.hk. Alternatively, call the 24 hour pre-recorded Health Education hotline +852 2833 0111.

Source of information:

The Government of the Hong Kong SAR

Marine Department Notice No. 174 of 2005 www.mardep.gov.hk

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