Advice to prevent spread of avian influenza to humans
There is an outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) among wild birds in Norway. In recent years, the avian influenza virus has also been detected among poultry flocks and in a small number of red foxes. Although the virus is rarely transmitted to humans, precautions should be taken.
It is rare for humans and animals other than birds to become infected with an avian influenza virus. However, transmission may still occur after close, unprotected contact with a sick bird. The risk of infection to humans is considered to be very low. There are many different influenza viruses circulating among birds, the viruses can mutate quickly and knowledge about these viruses is limited. We therefore recommend that everyone follows some simple advice to prevent infection.
Current advice to avoid infection
Do not touch sick or dead birds, or other animals where infection is suspected. If you must remove dead birds, read the advice on the Norwegian Food Safety Authority's website
Wash your hands with soap and water after contact with birds, bird droppings or equipment that has been in contact with birds.
Notify the Norwegian Food Safety Authority if you suspect avian influenza in birds and other animals.
Contact a doctor if you have been in contact with birds or other animals with suspected or confirmed infection. This is particularly important if you develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever and cough), conjunctivitis, vomiting, diarrhoea or serious illness in the following 10 days.
Keep dogs and cats away from sick and dead birds.
Occupationally exposed groups should use personal protective equipment
Anyone who, as part of their job, have close contact with birds or other animals with suspected or confirmed avian influenza should use personal protective equipment to prevent transmission of infection. Special advice has been drawn up for hunters and people who work with bird ringing by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.