July 7, 2006
Oswego County Health Director: ‘Learn the Facts About Bird Flu’
Although H5N1 bird flu may eventually arrive in the United States, Kathleen Smith, Director of Public Health for the Oswego County Health Department, reminds residents that the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has not been found anywhere in the nation, to date. Health officials have procedures in place, said Smith, to detect the disease quickly, when and if it arrives.
“Experts think HPAI bird flu could come to the United States sometime this year. But it is not here yet,” she said. “What is important now is that we have the time to learn about HPAI and be prepared for it.”
Smith said there are several important points that people should know about HPAI:
Bird flu is not the same thing as pandemic flu.
Bird flu is hard for people to catch.
Even though bird flu is not here right now, you should never touch live or dead wild birds with your bare hands.
“If you are concerned about bird flu, stay aware of what’s happening with HPAI elsewhere in the world,” said Smith. “Become informed. We want you to learn about it, not worry about it.”
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