Bird flu tests conducted on a 64-year-old Indonesian woman, admitted to the National University Hospital, have turned out to be negative. The woman, who had traveled to Singapore from Indonesia , was subjected to a H5N1 influenza PCR test, as a precautionary measure.
Reports of bird flu infection in humans and poultry have been reported in Indonesia. In view of the bird flu threat, the Singapore Health Ministry decided to test the patient. Although the patient tested positive for the first test, the 4 subsequent tests have turned out negative.
Furthermore, hospital staff in contact with the Indonesian traveler have been instructed to wear protective equipment. The public have been requested by the health officials not to worry about a bird flu outbreak as the situation is well under control. The Health Ministry has also devised a protocol for referral of foreign patients to Singapore and hospitals have been informed accordingly.
Improved surveillance measures, and stringent monitoring has been undertaken in patients, more specifically in travelers with symptoms of pneumonia and fever. In addition, strict infection control measures are also being enforced. Any person with a suspicion of bird flu is immediately isolated from other patients in the hospital.
Travelers from Singapore who visit regions affected by bird flu have been advised to avoid any close contact with poultry. They have been warned about consumption of undercooked poultry, including eggs. They have further been instructed to maintain an adequate level of personal hygiene and report any symptoms of bird flu to local health officials, at the earliest.
Although no case of human-human bird flu transmission has been recorded so far, it is feared that this could be enabled by a mutation of bird flu virus.