Fresh bird flu outbreaks reported from Vietnam and South Korea has put Thailand on alert. Thailand's Public Health Ministry is fully stocked and ready to deal with the situation, if H5N1 virus stages a come back.
The Ministry has a stock of 2.5 million capsules of oseltamivir, the anti-viral medicine to treat birds and 475,000 doses of influenza vaccines to be given to risk groups such as husbandry officials, Permanent Secretary for Public Health Prat Boonyawongvirot told the reporters.
"Cold weather is suitable for the spreading of the H5N1 virus," Dr. Prat said.
"The ministry is concerned about a bird flu threat in Thailand during the winter," he added.
He cautioned the people to avoid direct contact with infected poultry and eat only properly cooked chicken and ducks.
According to records, bird flu outbreaks have been reported in 56 countries between 2003 to December 12,2006, with 258 confirmed H5N1 infected humans in 10 countries among whom 154 died.
In Thailand alone there have been 25 bird flu cases since 2003, of which 17 patients died.