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Author Topic: Should I worry about catching bird flu on holiday?  (Read 5130 times)

Offline ukmicky

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My family wish to return to turkey this year for oursummer holidays . is a summer holiday in turkey a good idea. i know flu is a winter illness, however can you still catch the flu in mid summer.

DR Chris your input would be welcome on this one if you could please as we are taking a number (6)of my daughters friends with us and i know a number of their parents are having second thoughts as to whether or not to allow their daughters come due to the bird flu outbreak in turkey.

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    
« Last Edit: 06/04/2009 23:36:22 by chris »


 

Offline Dr B

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Re: Should I worry about catching bird flu on holiday?
« Reply #1 on: 14/01/2006 15:55:54 »
Well I actually live in Istanbul and I would also appreciate Dr Chris's input!  However at the moment the flu does not pass from person to person and you can only catch it through contact with infected birds.  Obviosly we are avoiding contact with birds.  The normal flu precautions such as washing your hands are important. I believe that cooked meat is safe, cooked eggs are safe.  What about frozen chickens??

Not sure that I agree that the flu is a winter illness, isn't it simply more common to catch it in the winter as you are more likely to spend time indoors with other people.

The poultry industry is collapsing here and I suspect the tourist industry is also about to suffer greatly.  It is a great shame, as the countries economy was finally improving after decades of high inflation and unemployment.



Dr B
Istanbul
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: Should I worry about catching bird flu on holiday?
« Reply #2 on: 14/01/2006 18:16:41 »
DR B Thankyou for the reply

We went to alanya last year and fell in love with the place and the people,and would like to return this year. My daughter wants some of her friends to come this time, which would allow her to enjoy the night life a bit more this time round.
However the parents of some of the girls are naturally worried because of the bird flu cases and with parents being parents worry and concern for their children's health (even though they will all be 18)often takes over from common sense and so telling them that at the moment bird flu can't be passed between humans isn't enough.
I'm trying to reassure them and figured that part of my ammunition would be that flu was mainly a winter problem as most people catch it when the temperature gets low and also because as in this case with bird flu it has been brought into your country through the winter migration of birds and so wont be a problem in the lovely hot hot summer their.

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    
 

Offline Dr B

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Re: Should I worry about catching bird flu on holiday?
« Reply #3 on: 14/01/2006 18:45:44 »
Of course there are no reported cases from that area of Turkey (Alanya).  I understand the concern as I am a parent.  At the moment it is very very difficult to catch bird flu - the cases in Turkey have involved people who live with birds (the three siblings who sadly died had been nursing a sick bird in their bedroom.  Also the Belgian case on the news today turned out not to be bird flu - I would have been shocked otherwise - but the fear is genuine.  Unless person to person happens before your holiday then there is no problem.  If person to person bird flu has happened by then it has probably also reached the UK.

....



Dr B
Istanbul
 

Offline VAlibrarian

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Re: Should I worry about catching bird flu on holiday?
« Reply #4 on: 22/01/2006 03:09:35 »
I must state up front: I am not a doctor.
However, I can state that the H5N1 flu virus in its present form does not infect people who avoid contact with live ducks and chickens, as well as their droppings, and recently killed birds. To this extent a trip at present to Turkey, Thailand, or Indonesia poses no risk if basic hygiene is maintained.
If on the other hand H5N1 were to change the composition of its viral coat and becomes easily transmissible between humans, risk of infection would not be limited to the nations which are currently experiencing outbreaks in bird populations. Such a change would be likely to result in a world pandemic in which 30 or 40 percent of the residents of many nations would become infected. In such a case, it might not matter if one were visiting Turkey, the U.K., or USA, as major flu outbreaks with some loss of life would be present in all 3. I do not wish to be alarmist in that last part, but scientists studying the problem are concerned about the possibility of the Avian flu changing into a transmissible form.

However, my opinion is that there is no reason to cancel a trip to Turkey as the current variant of H5N1 is not transmitted between humans.

chris wiegard
 

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Re: Should I worry about catching bird flu on holiday?
« Reply #4 on: 22/01/2006 03:09:35 »

 

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