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H7N9 Avian Flu

Avian influenza A (H7N9) is an influenza flu virus found in birds. In 2013, China began reporting infections with the virus in people.

Most of the infections have been associated with contact with infected poultry or contaminated environments. Early symptoms are similar to seasonal flu and include fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and fatigue, loss of appetite and runny or stuffy nose. However, H7N9 Avian Flu infection often causes severe respiratory illness and in some cases death.

Presently there is no vaccine to prevent H7N9 flu.

What can travelers do to protect themselves from H7N9 Avian Flu?

  • Do not touch birds, pigs, or other animals;
  • Eat food that is fully cooked;
  • Wash your hands often;
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol;
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing;
  • Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing utensils or cups.

If you feel sick and think you may have avian flu talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Tell them about your travel to China.



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