N.C. Health Officials To Announce Preparations For Avian Flu
Posted October 13, 2005 2:13 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Experts at the State Division of Public Health have been inundated with phone calls from people asking about the avian flu. As a result, they plan to talk with reporters Thursday about the state's planning efforts for the potentially deadly disease that has yet to hit the United States.
Avian Flu Explained
In the last few years, the avian flu has gone on a death march throughout Asia, infecting millions of chickens, ducks and geese and killing 65 people. All the victims caught the bird flu from an infected animal.
The avian flu recently surfaced in parts of Turkey and Romania. The fear is the virus will mutate and spread easily among people and across the world, but a health expert on the CBS "Early Show" said there's no reason to panic.
"There's no problem traveling to Asia. There's no problem with casual contact. You cannot get this from eating a chicken at all, so it's from repeated, repeated exposure from bird handlers that could get it," said Dr. Marc Siegel.
Across the state, agencies have conducted drills on how to quarantine a chicken house, how to treat the people working closely with the birds, and how to keep disease from spreading.