There are various types of influenza viruses. Avian influenza is caused by those influenza
viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks. Clinical
presentation of avian influenza in humans includes eye infection (conjunctivitis), flu-like
symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) or severe respiratory illness (e.g.
chest infection). The more virulent forms [e.g. infection by avian influenza A (H5N1 or
H7N9) viruses] can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure and even death.
Preventive measures in workplace
Cover nose and mouth with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose soiled
tissues properly into a lidded rubbish bin and wash hands with soap and water
Pay attention to personal hygiene:
Wash hands frequently with liquid soap and water especially:
before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth;
before eating or handling food;
after using the toilet; and
after touching public installations or equipment such as escalator
handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs
Use hand dryer or disposable towel for drying hand
Rubs hands with 70 – 80% alcohol-based handrub if hands are not visibly
Building up good body resistance through a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate
rest, reducing stress, and not smoking.
If staff develop influenza-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat and cough, they
consult their doctor promptly;
wear a surgical mask; and
take rest at home as advised by the doctor.
Ensure liquid soap, disposable towels, hand dryers or 70 – 80% alcohol-based
handrub are provided in toilets and office.
Maintain a clean and hygienic working environment. Clean and disinfect the
furniture and commonly-used equipment (e.g. telephones) at least daily and when
visibly soiled by using appropriate disinfectant (e.g. 1 part of household bleach
containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite in 99 parts water for non-metallic or 70%
alcohol for metallic surface). Leave for 15 to 30 minutes and then rinse with water.
If places are contaminated by respiratory secretions, vomitus or excreta, use
disposable towels to wipe them away. Then disinfect the surface and neighbouring
area with appropriate disinfectant (e.g. 1 part of household bleach containing 5.25%
sodium hypochlorite in 49 parts water for non-metallic or 70% alcohol for metallic
surface), leave for 15 to 30 minutes, and then rinse with water.
Ensure good ventilation
Keep air-conditioners well-maintained and wash the dust-filters frequently
Switch on wall fan and any circulating or exhaust fan to enhance air movement
Windows of office should be opened from time to time for better ventilation,
but make sure that window and louver are not located on the same wall
If a staff developsinfluenza-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat and cough,
remind him/her to stay at home and consult a doctor immediately.