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Hong Kong Bird Flu Risk

January 2014, 22
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Hong Kong Bird Flu Risk
Immigration and hospital officials in Hong Kong have now stepped up their efforts to stop the spread of bird flu across the city. As Hong Kong are set to see millions of visitors, the very real threat that bird flu could spread rapidly is a big cause for concern. In a small place with a population, the breeding ground is perfect for any disease. More presence at the borders, travellers will be screened for a rise in body temperature. Those who have bird flu   will have a high temperature. Individual tourists are also being watched and monitored by their tour operators.

Government officials have also began a major deep clean in markets and around Hong Kong. Poultry markets have seen an increase in patrols and assessments as well as testing. 1997 was the year that bird flu first jumped from birds to humans, Hong Kong saw bird flu spread across the city, they were affected by the disease so badly that they will use all resources to not be left open to the disease again. The city was ravaged by bird flu in 2003, the outbreak killed around three hundred people. With the deaths still fresh on citizens minds every step to control and contain any outbreak is high on everybody’s agenda.

Bird flu is a very contagious disease, but it is not as contagious as other disease such as SARS. There are certain neighbourhoods in Hong Kong which saw a SARS outbreak, it spread through the plumbing. But the disease is a worry and one that should not be taken lightly. Humans contract the disease very easily when they have been in contact with birds who are diseased.

It is hard to know if a bird is carrying the flu virus as they show no signs. If there a no signs  people will carry in as usual, thinking that their poultry is absolutely fine when in actual fact it is not. This is how and why bird flu gets contracted and then spread. At the minute the risk remains low as the virus is not easily contracted from human to human but from bird to human. This is why a whole family can be affected if each one has been near affected poultry. With the steps being taken the hope is that there will be no pandemic of the virus in Hong Kong. A mass outbreak on the scale of that of 2003 is unlikely if the steps are still taken.

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