Kiwi expats told they're on their own with bird flu

19th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 October 2005, BERLIN - New Zealanders living in Germany have been informed that they will have to take 'personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being' in the event of a bird flu pandemic.

19 October 2005

BERLIN - New Zealanders living in Germany have been informed that they will have to take 'personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being' in the event of a bird flu pandemic.

The New Zealand embassy in Berlin issued a statement Wednesday to New Zealand citizens living in Germany, informing them of precautions they need to take against a possible avian flu-related pandemic and emphasising that they will be responsible for their own welfare.

"If avian flu becomes pandemic, there is a possibility that some countries may close their borders; this is an option that is being considered in New Zealand," says the statement. "Decisions to close borders may be taken very quickly following declaration of a pandemic. Therefore, you need to consider in advance how you can care for yourself, wherever you are."

The statement goes on to say that the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu "may be effective" in treating infection with the H5N1 virus and recommending that citizens consult their doctor on "whether this is appropriate in your case" and encouraging them to "consider the availability of local stocks". It emphasises that "[t]he New Zealand Ministry of Health will not have sufficient stocks of Tamiflu to distribute to New Zealanders overseas."

The statement ends by repeating that "New Zealand embassies and high commissions overseas will not be able to: provide any anti viral drugs such as Tamiflu to New Zealand citizens overseas, or help New Zealand citizens overseas to return to New Zealand in the event that borders are closed."

Copyright Expatica News 2005

Subject: German news

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