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BellaOnline's Southeast Asia Editor

Travel Aids : Avian Flu Virus (H5N1 Bird Flu)

A lot of talk about the Avian Flu Virus (H5N1 Bird Flu) is in the news. What does this mean to the world community? What does this mean to the Southeast Asia traveler?

The Southeast Asia traveler must realize, that there are no known cases of human-to-human transference of the influenza virus. There really is no chance for the average traveler to catch the Avian Flu Virus (H5N1 Bird Flu).

Do not touch or be in the vicinity of any live fowl. In the past, in many Asian towns, they ran free. It was fun to pet and feed them. DO NOT! Stay away from establishments which have free-range fowl.

In all major Southeast Asian cities, it is now illegal for this practice. People who allow this are breaking the law and have contraband birds. Contraband means they are not inspected by the government and may have the Avian Flu Virus (H5N1 Bird Flu).

No matter how cute the birds are, do not interact with them, caged or not. The experts say the way the Avian Flu Virus (H5N1 Bird Flu) will spread worldwide, is by international travelers. Please be a responsible traveler!

Only a few years ago, a Wet Market visit was on every touristís itinerary. What is a Wet Market? A Wet Market is where fresh poultry and other meat are for sale. In addition, there are other grocery items for sale. The animals are killed and dressed in front of the customer. This ensures the buyer the meat is fresh.

Sadly, to say, a Wet Market will only be safely visited through past touristsí memories, journals or films. If you want to view a Wet Market, watch Rush Hour 2. Visit a Wet Market with Chris Tuckerís character, James Carter.

Do not visit places where poultry are slaughtered. Bird butchers are the most likely to become the victims of the Avian Flu Virus than all groups of people combined.

Remember cooked poultry is safe to eat. So eat your favorite local dishes while traveling throughout the area.

There are many upcoming holidays in our world community in the next few months. Happy holidays to everyone on the planet!

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