SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the risk of bird flu is very low at the moment as no human cases of bird flu have been reported in Hong Kong.
Singapore's health authority says it is monitoring the situation closely and is working with health officials in Hong Kong.
MOH said this in response to media queries as Hong Kong authorities culled 17,000 chickens Wednesday and suspended live poultry imports for 21 days after three birds tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus.
In the written statement, MOH advises travellers to Hong Kong to remain alert and to stay updated on the avian influenza situation there.
They can do so at the website of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection at http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/.
Travellers can also adopt good hygiene practices like these:
- Avoid direct contact with poultry, birds or their droppings, and if contact is made, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water
- Cook poultry and eggs thoroughly before eating
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid crowded places and contact with sick people with fever
- Wear a mask when you have respiratory symptoms or are feeling unwell
- Travellers returning from Hong Kong should seek prompt medical attention especially if you develop fever and/or influenza-like illnesses.
A national broadcaster reported that Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is taking measures to prevent the spread of bird flu in Singapore.
As there are no accredited meat establishments in Hong Kong, there is no import of poultry and poultry products from Hong Kong.
Singapore's processed poultry products are only imported from accredited establishments in mainland China.
Other measures include:
- Travellers are prohibited from bringing in poultry and poultry products from Hong Kong
- Meat and meat products can only be imported from certified establishments in approved countries
- The import of poultry and poultry products from countries affected by bird flu is also prohibited
- AVA will egularly monitor and sample imported poultry and eggs
- Local poultry slaughterhouses and poultry farms are closely monitored
- Operators of slaughterhouses and farms have been briefed on how to look out for signs of bird flu
- Farms must also ensure that bio-security measures, such as disinfection, are in place
- The public is not allowed to visit local poultry farms