Via the Phuket Gazette: Phuket free of bird flu, but taking no chances. Excerpt:
Phuket has not had a recorded single case of H5N1 bird flu in five years, but public health workers are still training to recognize and fight the dreaded virus in the case of any future outbreaks.
More than 100 public health workers and volunteers yesterday attended a “Bird Flu Prevention 2012” training seminar at Vachira Phuket Hospital.
The stated purpose was to refresh Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) workers in how to identify possible cases of H5N1 infection and treat patients effectively, increasing confidence in the public health system among tourists in the process.
Those who attended the workshop included staff at government and private hospitals, PPHO workers, volunteers and government health clinics run by local administrative bodies.
PPHO Deputy director Wiwat Seetamanotch told attendees that although there has not been a single recorded case of bird flu infection in Thailand in more than three years, the situation in some neighboring countries is a source of concern.
“Bird flu is still spreading among fowl in some countries. As a result, no country is truly risk-free. If the virus were to mutate, it could increase the risk of infection in humans. If such a mutation allowed it be spread directly from human to human, it could become very dangerous indeed,” said Dr Wiwat.