Update on Human Illness and Chicken Death in Palau

Based on available laboratory test results, it is likely that Palau is experiencing an outbreak among residents due to an influenza A virus.  Additional testing to determine the characterization of the influenza virus circulating in Palau will be done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.  

According to the latest report, there is no evidence to suggest that any illness on Palau among humans or chickens has been the result of an avian influenza subtype.  Palau may be experiencing a seasonal influenza outbreak, most likely caused by influenza A (H3N2), and the recently reported mass chicken deaths are probably unrelated.  All farm workers who were ill are now healthy, and no more chickens have died in Palau.

Because of the number Guam residents traveling and the number of visitors to Guam from countries that may be experiencing influenza outbreaks, the Department of Public Health and Social Services is reminding the public and local health care providers of the importance of influenza vaccination, especially for high-risk persons including those who may be pregnant or have certain chronic diseases as well as immune-compromised persons, health care personnel, hospital patients, children, and residents planning to travel.   Lastly, stay home from work or school when sick and practice frequent hand washing and good cough etiquette.  For more information, please call 735-7298 or 735-7142.

 

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