Risk of avian flu outbreak in Singapore low: Health Ministry

Live poultry for sale on a street in Shanghai on Jan 8, 2014. Avian influenza A, also known as H7N9, poses a low public health risk to Singapore, according to the Ministry of Health's latest assessment.  -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Live poultry for sale on a street in Shanghai on Jan 8, 2014. Avian influenza A, also known as H7N9, poses a low public health risk to Singapore, according to the Ministry of Health's latest assessment.  -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

Avian influenza A, also known as H7N9, poses a low public health risk to Singapore, according to the Ministry of Health's latest assessment.

"The risk of an outbreak in Singapore will continue to be low as long as the virus characteristics do not change," MOH said in a media statement released Tuesday. "There is currently no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus."

Singapore does not import live or raw poultry from China, where most of the recent cases of avian flu have been reported.

The ministry cautioned that more human cases of avian flu may be expected overseas in the coming months due to colder weather, increased poultry production and mass movements of people in anticipation of the festive seasons.

MOH also said it is "in close contact with the World Health Organization (WHO) and our counterparts internationally, and will continue to monitor the situation".

Any person who is suspected and confirmed to have avian flu in Singapore will be isolated, and the ministry will conduct "contact tracing and all close contacts will be placed under surveillance, if a case is detected".

Singaporeans travelling to affected areas are advised to maintain vigilance and adopt general health precautions when abroad.