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Avian Influenza (Bird Flu):
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Top 5 Most Popular FAQs
What is Bird Flu?
Singapore is free from bird flu. However, it is endemic in the region. Thus, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) work closely to remain vigilant and put in place precautionary measures to prevent a bird flu incursion. These include source accreditation, import control, routine inspection and surveillance at points of entry, local farms, poultry slaughterhouses, wild birds and pet shops.
In light of the outbreaks of bird flu in the region, members of the public may have concerns about the disease.
Refer to the
to find out what bird flu is all about, how it is spread, what AVS and SFA are doing to prevent the disease from coming into Singapore, and what contingency plans are in place if the disease does slip through our tight defences.
If the currently reported cases of human infections are not due to contact with pigs, why was it called swine flu?
The World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) has declared that the flu virus currently infecting humans should not be called "swine flu", as it also contains avian and human components and no pigs have been found ill with the disease so far. The virus has not been discovered in animals to date.
Should the new Influenza A (H1N1) grow out of control, how will Singapore's supply be affected?
Singapore has diversified our sources of supply over the years. Currently we have 25 approved countries exporting pork and pork products to us. In times when our supply from one source is affected, we will switch to other sources.
What precautionary measures are taken by SFA to keep the virus out of Singapore?
SFA has stepped up inspection and surveillance of the pig farm at Pulau Bulan, and the testing of the pigs to ensure that they are not infected with the virus found in the current outbreaks.
When the imported pigs arrived at the pig abattoir in Singapore, they are further inspected before and after slaughter. SFA also requires abattoir workers and SFA staff, who have contact with pigs to don protective attire, such as face shields and protective clothes.
SFA will test incoming pork imports from the US as well as other sources for the flu virus as a precautionary measure, even though there is no danger of contracting Influenza A (H1N1) from pork.
How do humans become infected?
The confirmed human Influenza A (H1N1) cases in Mexico, US and Canada come from human-to-human transmission and not contact with pigs.
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