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Plane passenger suspected of having AI

Australian authorities were on high alert Wednesday after it was suspected that a passenger on a plane to Sydney from Vietnam may have been suffering from avian influenza.

The passenger, who was flying to Australia from Vietnam, was assessed as being unwell, according to a statement from the New South Wales Health Department. As he had previously suffered an influenza-like infection and had been staying in an area where he had been in prolonged contact with chickens, Australian authorities acted quickly to assess the incoming traveller for bird flu.
It has since emerged, however, that the man may have been a drug courier who became ill after a condom containing heroin burst in his stomach.
Australian authorities have yet to confirm reports that the man was treated with Narcan, a medicine used to treat heroin overdoses, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
However, Australia's The Age newspaper cites NSW Health Communicable Diseases Director Jeremy McAnulty as saying: "It turns out that [bird flu] is a very unlikely diagnosis. But the person's still being assessed in hospital.
Our concern is whether a person has a quarantinable disease or avian influenza, and at this stage it seems very unlikely that that's the case.”
Local news reports have also indicated that the man is now a person of interest to the Australian Federal Police, which has not confirmed the nature of its investigations at this stage.

Editor WorldPoultry

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