January 14, 2004



Taiwan Steps Up Measures Against Bird Flu


Taiwan is increasing measures to prevent the spread of bird flu to the country. With the epidemic currently sweeping through Asia, Taiwan's Center for Disease Control (CDC) is stepping up surveillance measures to prevent bird flu surfacing in the country, and particularly potential transmission of the disease to humans, said Yen Che-chieh, head of the CDC Vaccination Division.


Yen said the CDC is now assisting agricultural authorities to prevent an outbreak of the bird flu in Taiwan, paying extra attention to poultry farms islandwide. "If a case is spotted, the birds will be immediately destroyed," he said.


As of noon Tuesday, Yen said, all poultry farm operators and related personnel have been examined and have tested negative for the flu.


Yen called for the Taiwan public to stay vigilant against avian flu, saying that the disease is spread via infected birds' feces. If a human contracts the disease, the early symptoms are extremely similar to those of the common cold, he added.

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