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Bird flu guide for travellers launched

posted on 17/10/2006: 1499 views

The Secretariat of the National Committee for Emergency Response to Bird Flu has launched a mini guide for travellers. The guide contains advice in Arabic, English, German, French and Hindi and is part of the awareness campaign entitled 'Better Safe than Sorry' which was launched in 2005.

The guide is being distributed not only at the country's airports but also at land and sea entry points. It targets those departing or arriving from affected areas around the world, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced yesterday. It explains what the disease is, its causes and how it started. Moreover, the guide instructs travellers to refrain from bringing any live birds, poultry, meat, eggs or feathers into the UAE. It recommends avoiding visiting any poultry farms soon after their return to the UAE.

"The guide also highlights the emergency hotline in case of any emergency (8009990), which is constantly receiving inquiries from the general public," EAD said in a statement.

Dubai Municipality, one of the members of the committee, has set up an avian influenza operations room in its Veterinary Section. The municipality also received, stored and distributed specific amounts of the necessary safety and hygienic equipment to the rest of the committee members, in cooperation with Dubai's Department of Health and Medical Services.

The EAD, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Water and the Emirates Bird Records Committee has continued to monitor avian influenza by implementing its nation-wide wild birds monitoring surveys on islands and other key areas.

These surveys began in October 2005. Last month, 31,230 birds of 107 species were monitored and recorded in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates from the selected monitoring sites. No birds showed any signs of the disease. (Gulf News)


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