What is Avian flu ?
Avian influenza is largely a disease of birds. Despite large outbreaks in poultry, only about 140 people have so far caught the disease. Of these, about half have died. All human cases have occurred in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, China and Turkey. Almost all are thought to have caught the disease from infected poultry. There has been no sustained human-to-human transmission: the virus does not pass easily between people.
Medical experts warn that the avian influenza virus could combine with influenza viruses already circulating in the human population or adapt into a form which could be transmitted readily between people. It is impossible to predict when this might happen. But if it did, it could trigger a global human flu pandemic.
It is important to distinguish between avian flu, the current disease affecting mainly birds, and pandemic flu, which would affect mainly humans and is at this stage only a possibility.
You may also be interested in:
The International Chamber of Shipping reports that there are currently around 1.2 million seafarers actively serving on vessels in the world merchant fleet. Given the financial exposure that crew claims pose for Members; Amanda Hastings, Claims Executive for the People Claims team looks at one element of crew illness claims - work-related disease. Looking at the key contractual provisions for work-related illness under the Philippines Overseas Employment Agency Standard Employment Contract (POEA SEC), the challenges posed by contracts which fall silent on definitions of work-related illness and advice to Members on mitigating liability in these types of claim.