The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) based in Stockholm has proposed guidelines for poultry workers in European countries with regard to the avian flu. Approval has been granted to these guidelines at a meeting at Brussels.
The guidelines are inclusive of controlling infection of birds and conducting local risk assessment. Contact with the birds that are infected should also be minimized according to the guidelines. The use of anti-viral drugs has been suggested in addition to helmets, gloves, and masks when dealing with birds which are suspected to be infected. The chances of poultry workers getting infected with H7N7 are much higher than the more dangerous H5N1 strain of the flu.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the World Animal Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization. A poultry import ban has already been imposed by the European Union against countries like Romania, Russia, Croatia, and Turkey, where there have been outbreaks of the virus recently. If the virus were to mutate into a form that could be passed from one human being to another, then a catastrophic global pandemic may well be the end result.
In the meantime Birdlife International has denied that the virus is being spread by migratory wild birds. There has been no sign of the virus in the migratory routes of the birds, according to the organization. In the case of certain parts of Europe, the outbreaks maybe due to imports of poultry products, according to Birdlife International.